On the borderline

When I was in seminary, our homiletics professor had lots of advice and pointers for the Sunday homily. The professor was pretty adamant about not explaining theology. And I mostly agree with his point – it can make a homily really dry and fill it with language that needs its own explanation. The professor’s final point was that your explanation was likely to cross the borderline of orthodoxy and give an inaccurate or heretical version of the underlying theology.  Best to just keep it simple and well clear of the border. Continue reading

The Ascension Gospel

This coming Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension. The readings are taken from St. Luke’s Gospel and his Acts of the Apostles. Both the first reading and the gospel are accounts of the Ascension, making this event the linchpin between the two works of St. Luke. Yesterday we considered the account in the Acts of the Apostles in detail. Today we turn our attention to the Gospel account. Continue reading

The Ascension

This coming Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension. The readings are taken from St. Luke’s Gospel and his Acts of the Apostles. Both the first reading and the gospel are accounts of the Ascension, making this event the lynchpin between the two works of St. Luke. Yesterday we considered a high-level view of the unity of the two volumes as a way of showing the centrality of the Ascension as a connection of the mission of Jesus and the mission of the Church. Continue reading

Two Volumes

This coming Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension. The readings are taken from St. Luke’s Gospel and his Acts of the Apostles. Both the first reading and the gospel are accounts of the Ascension, making this event the linchpin between the two works of St. Luke. Yesterday we spoke to the missionary narrative that ties together St. Luke’s two books – really two volumes of the same book. Today we take a high-level view of the unity of the two volumes. Continue reading

Journeys after the Ascension: Acts of the Apostles

This coming Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension. The readings are taken from St. Luke’s Gospel and his Acts of the Apostles. Both the first reading and the gospel are accounts of the Ascension, making this event the lynchpin between the two works of St. Luke. Earlier today there was an introductory post, and as promised, for those that would like to have a short summary of what happens after the Ascension as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, please continue to read (Acts of the Apostles – Introduction at USCCB.com). Continue reading

The Journeys

This coming Sunday is the 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time, but in almost all of the dioceses of the United States, as allowed, the Solemnity of the Ascension is transferred from its traditional Thursday celebration to the following Sunday, replacing 7th Easter. The readings are taken from St. Luke’s Gospel and his Acts of the Apostles. Both the first reading and the gospel are accounts of the Ascension, making this event the linchpin between the two works of St. Luke. I will attempt to cover both during the course of the week. Continue reading

A moment of time

There are moments in this life when I wished I processed more insight about what was happening in the moment that is now. They are often moments caught up in the midst and whirl of things; moments when I look back and wished I had paused and considered what was stirring within. Attentive to the now.

Lent is a season when we are called to take time and pray for the wisdom to be attentive to the moments leading up to the celebration on Easter. But what about the Easter season? Those 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost have come and are almost gone. There is a lot whirling around our lives that make the quiet of Lent seem long ago and far away. Continue reading

Those bringing good news

Salvador Dali’s painting “Ascension” is certainly one of the most provocative paintings depicting the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus. The symbolic elements are many, the speculations even more, and the agreement on meaning is still up for grabs. But I sometimes tend to focus on some of the more realistic elements cast among the surrealistic things. While the art experts discuss the finer points of Dali — his life, faith, and his work, I am fascinated by perspective, as well as the hands and feet. The former as though clutching at something; the latter soiled and showing the wear and tear of life on earth. Continue reading

Ascension and Mystery

The Ascension of the Lord is a great celebration of the Church. It commemorates the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven. According to St. Luke it occurred 40 days after the Resurrection (Acts 1:3). It is a feast of great antiquity with liturgies and art of the 4th century already addressing it as a norm of the Church. In the Eastern Church this feast is known in Greek as Analepsis, the “taking up,” and also as the Episozomene, the “salvation from on high,” indicating that by ascending into his glory Christ completed the work of our redemption.

Especially in Western Europe, the Feast of the Ascension, falling on Thursday, traditionally has been a public holiday, allowing the faithful to participate in the holy day of obligation. In modern times, there are no mid-week public holidays in most places, and so, celebration of the feast diminished. There are many Christian traditions that do not celebrate the Ascension. In the early 1990s the Vatican gave permission for the local bishop to move the observance of the Feast of the Ascension from the traditional Thursday to the following Sunday, the Sunday before Pentecost. The permission to move was given so that the faithful might maintain contact with the importance of the feast. Continue reading