Lectionary Reflections: Solemnity of the Ascension [c] May 5, 2016

Engaging Faith | Fri, Apr 29, 2016

By John Bucki, SJ
Source: Center of Concern

Solemnity of the Ascension [c]

May 5, 2016 or May 8, 2016 (depending on your diocese or country)


Acts 1:1-11

Ephesians 1:17-23 or Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:19-23

Luke 24:46-53



May 8: Mothers’ Day in the United States and Canada

May 15: Pentecost



Reading the Scriptures also makes it clear that the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God. Nor should our loving response to God be seen simply as an accumulation of small personal gestures to individuals in need, a kind of “charity à la carte”, or a series of acts aimed solely at easing our conscience. The Gospel is about the kingdom of God (cf. Luke 4:43); it is about loving God who reigns in our world. 

-Pope Francis, Evangelli Gaudium, 180

The true apostle is first of all a person who is "tuned in,” a servant ready for God's action.

-John Paul II, Athens, Greece, May 5, 2001

By opening our heart to the love of God it also opens it to the love of our brothers and sisters, and makes us capable of shaping history according to God's plan. … A spirituality of communion means, finally, to know how to "make room" for our brothers and sisters, bearing "each other's burdens" (Gal 6:2) and resisting the selfish temptations which constantly beset us and provoke competition, careerism, distrust and jealousy.

-John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, 33, 43

We have a lot of work to do. Every time we reach out and assuage someone's hunger, and do that in memory of Jesus, a sense of Eucharist will bring to consciousness the Spirit and the real presence of Jesus - in us, through us, among us. That Spirit alone is capable of transforming us and the world.

-Miriam Therese Winter, MMS

Come, Holy Spirit! Help us to overcome our selfishness.

-Pope Francis @Pontifex May 20, 2015

The royal road to peace is to see others not as enemies to be opposed but as brothers and sisters to be embraced. 

-Pope Francis @Pontifex Apr 19, 2016


Thoughts for Your Consideration

In the first reading the followers of Jesus look up to heaven.

The angels ask them “Why?” 

It is as if they are saying: 

“Why don’t you just look around and then maybe you will see the Christ?”

Look around and you will see the presence of Christ.

Look around and you will hear the call of God.

Look around and you will know the power of the Spirit.

Look around and you will be empowered.

Look around and you will be filled with joy.

You will be involved in the struggle for justice and peace.

You will hear the voice of God among the poor and needy of the world.

You will see the beauty of creation and also the tragic harm being done to creation.

You will hear God speak in the struggle for peace and justice.

You will see God in the goodness and faith of people

You will see God in those who struggle to do what is right and good.

You will be led into life and grace.

God dwells in the world.

In a sense the Ascension experience sends the followers of Jesus into the world to “find God in all things.” The spirituality of Christ is not a spirituality that looks to get out of the world and its challenges. The spirituality of Christ is a spirituality connected to the world around us – the world of people and nature – a world with rich and poor, men and women, young and old, nature and grace, conflict and reconciliation, war and peace, sin and virtue, etc.

The disciples are sent out not with a rigid ideology or a fully spelled out set of rules, but rather with a spirit – a spirit of openness – a spirit that proclaims “repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations.”  

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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