Thursday, 30 May 2019 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Luke 24 : 46-53

At that time, Jesus said, “So it was written : the Messiah had to suffer, and on the third day rise from the dead. Then repentance and forgiveness in His Name would be proclaimed to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. And that is why I will send you what My Father promised. So remain in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Jesus led them almost as far as Bethany; then He lifted up His hands and blessed them. And as He blessed them, He withdrew, and was taken to heaven. They worshipped Him, and then returned to Jerusalem full of joy; and they were continually in the Temple, praising God.

Thursday, 30 May 2019 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Second Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Hebrews 9 : 24-28 and Hebrews 10 : 19-23

Christ did not enter some sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the True One, but Heaven itself. He is now in the presence of God, on our behalf. He had not to offer Himself many times, as the High Priest does : he, who, may return every year, because the blood is not his own. Otherwise, He would have suffered many times, from the creation of the world.

But no; He manifested Himself only now, at the end of the ages, to take away sin by sacrifice, and, as humans die only once, and afterward are judged, in the same way, Christ sacrificed Himself, once to take away the sins of the multitude. There will be no further question of sin, when He comes again, to save those waiting for Him.

So, my friends, we are assured of entering the Sanctuary, by the Blood of Jesus Who opened, for us, this new and living way, passing through the curtain, that is, His Body. Because we have a High Priest in charge of the House of God, let us approach, with a sincere heart, with full faith, interiorly cleansed from a bad conscience, and our bodies washed, with pure water.

Let us hold fast to our hope, without wavering, because He, Who promised, is faithful.

Thursday, 30 May 2019 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 46 : 2-3, 6-7, 8-9

Clap your hands, all you peoples; acclaim God with shouts of joy. For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared; He is a great King all over the earth.

God ascends amid joyful shouts, the Lord amid trumpet blasts. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!

God is King of all the earth; sing to Him a hymn of praise. For God now rules over the nations, God reigns from His holy throne.

Thursday, 30 May 2019 : Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 1 : 1-11

In the first part of my work, Theophilus, I wrote of all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when He ascended to heaven. But first He had instructed through the Holy Spirit, the Apostles He had chosen. After His passion, He presented Himself to them, giving many signs that He was alive, over a period of forty days He appeared to them and taught them concerning the kingdom of God.

Once when He had been eating with them, He told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the fulfilment of the Father’s promise about which I have spoken to you : John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit within a few days.”

When they had come together, they asked Him, “Is it now that You will restore the Kingdom of Israel?” And He answered, “It is not for you to know the time and the steps that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the earth.”

After Jesus said this, He was taken up before their eyes and a cloud hid Him from their sight. While they were still looking up to heaven where He went, suddenly, two men dressed in white stood beside them, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up at the sky? This Jesus Who has been taken from you into heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen Him go there.”

(Usus Antiquior) The Ascension of our Lord (I Classis) – Thursday, 30 May 2019 : Offertory, Secret Prayer of the Priest, Communion and Post-Communion Prayer

Offertory

Psalm 46 : 6

Ascendit Deus in jubilatione, et Dominus in voce tubae, Alleluja.

 

English translation

God is ascended in jubilee, and the Lord with the sound of trumpet. Alleluia.

 

Secret Prayer of the Priest

Suscipe, Domine, munera, quae pro Filii Tui gloriosa Ascensione deferimus : et concede propitius; ut a praesentibus periculis liberemur, et ad vitam perveniamus aeternam. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Receive, o Lord, the offerings which we bring for the glorious Ascension of Your Son, and grant in Your mercy that we may be delivered from present dangers and may attain unto life everlasting. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Preface of the Ascension

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere : Domine, Sancte Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus : per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Qui post resurrectionem suam omnibus discipulis suis manifestus apparuit et, ipsis cernentibus, est elevatus in caelum, ut nos divinitatis suae tribueret esse participes. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus cumque omni militia caelestis exercitus hymnum gloriae Tuae canimus, sine fine dicentes :

 

English translation

It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always and in all places give thanks to You, o holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ our Lord. He who after His resurrection very openly showed Himself to all His disciples, and in their sight was raised up to heaven, in order to give to us to be partakers of His Godhead. And therefore, with the angels and archangels, with the thrones and dominations, and with all the array of the heavenly host, we sing a hymn to Your glory and unceasingly repeat :

 

Communion

Psalm 67 : 33-34

Psallite Domino, qui ascendit super caelos caelorum ad Orientem, Alleluja.

 

English translation

Sing all of you to the Lord, who mounts above the heaven of heavens to the east. Alleluia.

 

Post-Communion Prayer

Praesta nobis, quaesumus, omnipotens et misericors Deus : ut, quae visibilibus mysteriis sumenda percepimus, invisibili consequamur effectu. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Grant, we beseech You, o Almighty and merciful God, that what we have received in visible mysteries, we may also obtain in their invisible effect. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

(Usus Antiquior) The Ascension of our Lord (I Classis) – Thursday, 30 May 2019 : Holy Gospel

Liturgical Colour : White

Sequentia Sancti Evangelii secundum Marcum – Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark

Mark 16 : 14-20

In illo tempore : Recumbentibus undecim discipulis, apparuit illis Jesus : et exprobravit incredulitatem eorum et duritiam cordis : quia iis, qui viderant eum resurrexisse, non crediderunt. Et dixit eis : Euntes in mundum universum, praedicate Evangelium omni creaturae.

Qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit, salvus erit : qui vero non crediderit, condemnabitur. Signa autem eos, qui crediderint, haec sequentur : In Nomine Meo daemonia ejicient : linguis loquantur novis : serpentes tollent : et si mortiferum quid biberint, non eis nocebit : super aegros manus imponent, et bene habebunt.

Et Dominus quidem Jesus, postquam locutus est eis, assumptus est in caelum, et sedet a dextris Dei. Illi autem profecti, praedicaverunt ubique, Domino cooperante et sermonem confirmante, sequentibus signis.

 

English translation

At that time, Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were at table, and He upbraided them with their incredulity and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen again. And He said to them, “Go all of you to the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”

“He who believes and is baptised shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. And these signs shall follow those who believe : In My Name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them, they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.”

And the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into Heaven and sits on the right hand of God. But they go forth preaching everywhere, the Lord working withal, and confirming the word with signs that followed.

(Usus Antiquior) The Ascension of our Lord (I Classis) – Thursday, 30 May 2019 : Alleluia

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 46 : 6 and Psalm 67 : 18-19

Alleluja, Alleluja.

Response : Ascendit Deus in jubilatione, et Dominus in voce tubae.

Alleluja.

Response : Dominus in Sina in sancto, ascendens in altum, captivam duxit captivitatem. Alleluja.

 

English translation

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Response : God had ascended in jubilation, the Lord ascended with the voice of the trumpet.

Alleluia.

Response : The Lord is in Sinai, in His holy place, ascending on high. He had led captivity captive. Alleluia.

(Usus Antiquior) The Ascension of our Lord (I Classis) – Thursday, 30 May 2019 : Epistle

Liturgical Colour : White

Lectio Actuum Apostolorum – Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles

Acts 1 : 1-11

Primum quidem sermonem feci de omnibus, o Theophile, quae coepit Jesus facere et docere usque in diem, qua, praecipiens Apostolis per Spiritum Sanctum, quos elegit, assumptus est : quibus et praebuit seipsum vivum post passionem suam in multas argumentis, per dies quadraginta apparens eis et loquens de regno Dei.

Et convescens, praecepit eis, ab Jerosolymis ne discederent, sed exspectarent promissionem Patris, quam audistis (inquit) per os meum : quia Joannes quidem baptizavit aqua, vos autem baptizabimini Spiritu Sancto non post multos hos dies. Igitur qui convenerant, interrogabant eum, dicentes : Domine, si in tempore hoc restitues regnum Israel?

Dixit autem eis : Non est vestrum nosse tempora vel momenta, quae Pater posuit in sua potestate : sed accipietis virtutem supervenientis Spiritus Sancti in vos, et eritis mihi testes in Jerusalem et in omni Judaea et Samaria et usque ad ultimum terrae. Et cum haec dixisset, videntibus illis, elevatus est, et nubes suscepit eum ab oculis eorum.

Cumque intueretur in caelum euntem illum, ecce, duo viri astiterunt juxta illos in vestibus albis, qui et dixerunt : Viri Galilaei, quid statis aspicientes in caelum? Hic Jesus, qui assumptus est a vobis in caelum, sic veniet, quemadmodum vidistis eum euntem in caelum.

 

English translation

The former treatise I made, o Theophilus, of all things which Jesus began to do and to teach, until the day on which, giving commandments by the Holy Spirit to the Apostles whom He had chosen, He was taken up to whom He also showed Himself to be alive after His Passion by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them and speaking of the kingdom of God.

And eating together with them, He commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard, (He said) by My mouth, for John indeed baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days hence. They therefore who had come together asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?”

But He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or moments which the Father had put in His own power, but you shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.” And when He had said these things, while they looked on, He was raised up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

And while they were beholding Him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments, who also said, “All you men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? This Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen Him going into heaven.”

(Usus Antiquior) The Ascension of our Lord (I Classis) – Thursday, 30 May 2019 : Introit and Collect

Liturgical Colour : White

Introit

Acts 1 : 11 and Psalm 46 : 2

Viri Galilaei, quid admiramini aspicientes in caelum? Alleluja : quemadmodum vidistis cum ascendentem in caelum, ita veniet. Alleluja, Alleluja, Alleluja.

Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus : jubilate Deo in voce exsultationis.

Response : Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper : et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

All you men of Galilee, why do you wonder, looking up to heaven? Alleluia. He shall come again just as you have seen Him going up into heaven. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.

O clap your hands, all you nations, shout unto God with the voice of joy.

Response : Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Collect

Concede, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus : ut, qui hodierna die Unigenitum Tuum. Redemptorem nostrum, ad caelos ascendisse credimus : ipsi quoque mente in caelestibus habitemus. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

English translation

Grant, we beseech You, o Almighty God, that, believing Your only-begotten, our Redeemer, to have ascended to heaven on this day, we, too, may spiritually dwell in heavenly places. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who with You lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 : 6th Week of Easter (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding us of the love which God has done for us, that in everything He has blessed us and provided for us, for all of our needs and for everything that He has done for us. From the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, all of us have received the reassurance of God’s grace and protection, providence and love.

From the Father, we have received the gift of life and the gift of adoption as sons and daughters, to be called as the children of the Lord God Most High. He has created us and given us life just as St. Paul preached and testified before all the philosophers and the people gathered at the Areopagus in Athens as we heard in our first reading passage today. And not only that, but God gave us even greater gift in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, Whom He had sent into the world to be our Lord and Saviour.

Through the Son of God, Who became incarnate in the flesh and became the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, God has reaffirmed this relationship that each and every one of us have with Him, as we share through Christ the relationship with God, His heavenly Father, Who is also our Father. And we have received this gift of Christ, by Whose sharing of our humanity united us all to His own suffering and death on the Cross, and therefore, gained for us the salvation and eternal life He promised us all.

And even after He has risen from the dead and ascended in glory to Heaven, which celebration we will celebrate tomorrow on the Solemnity of the Ascension, God did not leave us behind all alone in this world. Instead, He fulfilled the promise He made to us all of the Advocate or the Helper, the Holy Spirit of God coming down from heaven, and descending on the Apostles and through them, to all of us His faithful ones.

And the Lord promised all of us this Helper, the Holy Spirit that will strengthen us and give us the courage and strength to carry on living our lives with commitment and determination, despite the challenges and difficulties that we may face in life. Through the Holy Spirit we receive the truth, wisdom and understanding, just as St. Paul revealed the truth before the assembled people in the Areopagus.

At that time, the Greek people in Athens and in other parts of the Greek world and civilisation worshipped the pagan gods of the Olympians and other deities, intermingled with the many other local deities and gods of the Mediterranean region. Many of them did not know who they were worshipping, and in fact, many of those deities were representations of natural forces and power, and also exhibiting human behaviours, in whatever ways that the people imagined their divinities were like.

And there were so many of these gods and deities that St. Paul noticed that there was even a worship niche for the unknown God. That was when St. Paul revealed to the people who were assembled there in the Areopagus, the truth about the one and only true God Who was unknown to them. By the wisdom and the truth of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle spoke passionately of the one true God and the one true Divinity Whose existence was laid bare and shown to the people who had thus far followed the wrong path.

Some of them came to believe in what St. Paul had said, and were touched in their hearts by the message of truth, while others dismissed it as merely an oddity. Yet, it was the hard labour and commitment of the Apostles in continuing to do what God had commanded them to do even in the midst of ridicule, persecution and rejection that had caused so many of God’s people to be reconciled to Him and salvation to be brought to many.

How about us, brothers and sisters in Christ? As we have discussed just now, we have seen just how wonderful God’s love for each and every one of us is. Are we able to love God and commit ourselves to His ways in the same way as He has loved us so dearly and wonderfully? Let us all turn towards Him therefore with a renewed spirit and commitment to live our lives from now on with faith. May God bless us always, now and forevermore. Amen.