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Browsing Reflections Archive

May 13, 2021

Daily Reflection for Thursday, May 13, 2021

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!

We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23, or Ephesians 4:1-13 or Ephesians  4:1-7, 11-13
Gospel: Mark 16:15-20

Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:

It has been written that in Jesus’ day, Jewish tradition didn’t have the sharply dichotomous perspective of heaven and earth being two distinct places (here OR there) such as the one we might have grown up with.  Instead, their appreciation was rooted much more in the idea of heaven and earth both existing along the same spectrum (here AND there.) *   Jesus personified this spectrum in his equal parts of humanness and divinity.

I like the idea of a line that is a bit more blurred between heaven and earth.  It makes heaven feel closer and more attainable somehow.  How many times might we have been moved and felt the exhilarating twinge of the divine when allowing ourselves to be moved by the arresting beauty of creation or the palpable wonder of divinely inspired art and architecture?  How many times has music fused for us the dimension of heaven and earth?  (Why else do we seek to interlace earthly and angelic voices?  For example: “We join with the choir of angels as we sing…Holy, Holy, Holy…”) 

To demystify and link these dimensions, is ultimately the task of the Church isn’t, it?  Jesus’s bodily presence transfigures earth and His ascension into Heaven becomes not an escape from earth as much as a representation of the union and interrelatedness of heaven and earth.  The Ascension is the opposite of His departure or his absence and, instead, invites His directing presence in sharing the reign of the Kingdom at the right hand of the Father.  The Church, therefore, as the mystical body of Jesus and all its community of people transfigured by Christ, has a role to continue His work of bringing heaven and earth together.  How does this unifying work manifest for you?

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.  But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.           Mark 16: 19-20

Rafael Rosario

*Much of the foundation for this reflection is rooted in content shared by Bishop Robert Barron.   See his following videos for richer context.
Bishop Barron on Why the Ascension of Jesus Matters - Bing video
The Solemnity of the Ascension (Sunday Homily from May 24, 2020) - Bing video


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