A-Ascension 2017-05-28


Feast of the Ascension   May 28, 2017      A 

June 4, 2017           FEAST OF THE ASCENSION

Year A

First Reading                   Acts 1:1-11

           A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

In my first book, Theophilus [thee-OF-uh-luhs],

I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught

from the beginning until the day he was taken up,

after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit

to the apostles whom he had chosen. 

After his suffering, Jesus appeared alive to them––

confirmed through many convincing proofs––

over the course of 40 days,

speaking to them about the reign of God. 

While staying with them, Jesus told them not to leave Jerusalem,

but to wait there for what God has promised.       

“This is what you have heard from me,” he reminded them, 

           “John baptized with water,

                but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit

                     in just a few days.”

While meeting together they asked,

           “Has the time come, Rabbi?  Will you restore sovereignty to Israel?”  

Jesus replied,

“It is not for you to know the times or seasons that Abba God has set.  

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,

and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,

throughout Judea and Samaria,

and to the ends of the earth.” 

Having said this,

as they were watching,

 Jesus was lifted up,

and a cloud took him from their sight. 

The disciples were still gazing up into the heavens intently,

when suddenly two figures dressed in white robes stood beside them and said: 

“People of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? 

This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven,

will return

in the same way you saw him go.”

           The word of God, spoken through Luke in the Acts of the Apostles.


June 4, 2017           FEAST OF THE ASCENSION

Year A

Second Reading               Ephesians 1:17-23

A reading from the letter to the Ephesians [ee-FEE-zhuhnz] 

                           and  the writings of Joan Chittester in The Cry of the Prophet

 In Ephesians:

May the God of our Savior Jesus Christ, the God of glory,

give you a Spirit of wisdom and of revelation,

to bring you to a rich knowledge of the Creator. 

May God enlighten the eyes of your mind

so that you can see the hope this call holds for you

––the promised glories that God’s holy ones will inherit,

and the infinitely great power that is exercised for us who believe. 

You can tell this from the strength of God’s power at work in Jesus…

Joan writes

When Jesus ascends from this life to Life in the heart of God,

the angels say to the disciples, “Why do you stand looking up to heaven?”  

The question is a haunting one:

Why do we stand around waiting for something to save us from ourselves?  

We are the ones who made nuclear weapons;

we are the ones who can decide to stop making them.  

We are the ones who pass the legislation that advantages the rich

and impoverishes the poor.  We can demand better. 

We are the ones who can pass the bills that would give them the essentials of life—food, housing, education.  

We are the ones who make war, not peace,

who torture in the name of God and call degradation justice,

who make life cheap from womb to tomb.  

And we are the ones who can forbid such inhumanity,

can disavow such political policies, can demand justice and equality and peace.

If only we will.

And yet, if we do not, what has Easter really been about?  

The word of God recorded in the first letter to the Ephesians

           and the writings of Joan Chittester in The Cry of the Prophet.

June 4, 2017           FEAST OF THE ASCENSION

Year A

Gospel                  Matthew 28:16-20

          The conclusion of the gospel according to Matthew.

The eleven disciples went to Galilee,

to the mountain where Jesus had directed them.

At the sight of the risen Christ,

they fell down in worship

even though some doubted what they were seeing.

Jesus spoke to them in these words:

      “All authority has been given me

           both in heaven and on earth;

       go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations. 

       Baptize them in the name of Abba God,

          and of the Only Begotten,

          and of the Holy Spirit. 

      Teach them to carry out

         everything I have taught you. 

     And remember that I am with you always,

         even until the end of the world!”

          The Good News of our Salvation spoken through Matthew.

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