Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension (Year B)

Acts 1:1-11; Eph 1:17-23; Mk 16:15-20

The Ascension of Jesus

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES from Fr. Bel San Luis SVD

2009 Word Alive

What ascension means

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

May 23, 2009, 9:12pm

In the 1960s, flushed from a successful flight to outer space, Yuri Gagarin, a Russian cosmonaut, sarcastically remarked: “We’ve gone up to heaven, but we did not find God there.”

Gagarin was, of course, speaking merely on the physical and material sphere.

When we hear the word “ascension,” we invariably think of “going up.”

And that’s what is conjured when we talk about the ascension of Jesus, the feast we celebrate this Sunday.

There’s more to the ascension, however, than “going up” to the heavens.

First, the Lord’s ascension was His hour of glorification by the Father.

After a fruitful life on earth, Jesus was exalted by His Heavenly Father. As St. Paul puts it: “And appearing in the form of Man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to death on a cross. Therefore, God also has exalted Him” (Phil 2:9).

What is this mission? In the gospel of the ascension, Jesus says, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation” (Mk 16:15). The mission is to witness to Christ in the world, preach the Good News that God redeemed us and to show by our love that He is always with us.

By the way, the command of Jesus to proclaim the good news to the whole world is also the reason why ascension is the feast of world communications.

Thus the challenge to the Church today is to intensify the use of the media of communications.

Further, it should integrate the Gospel message to the powerful and pervasive media culture of today.

In the first reading of the Mass of Ascension, we read that “two men in white,” presumably angels, tell the disciples: “Why are you looking up to heaven?

Jesus who has been taken up will come back as you have seen Him go” (Acts 1:11).

In short, Christ will do a Gen. McArthur – “I shall return.” In the “interim period,” i.e., the time between His ascension and His return, we are told not to fix our concern solely on the afterlife but to building “colonies of heaven” already here on earth.

Do you still remember the American actress Whoopi Goldberg in the highly-popular movies “Ghost” and “Sister Act”?

Every year Goldberg co-hosts a TV program “Comic Relief” to aid her country’s numerous homeless. (Yes, in the world’s richest country, America, there are homeless people, too). This is her way of doing something positive for the less fortunate.

You don’t have to be a Whoopi Goldberg or a rich man to help improve the lot of your less fortunate brethren. You can do it in whatever capacity you are, depending on your talent, treasure, and time.

For instance, a world-renowned architect offered his services to design the church and convent of the Smokey Mountain parish in Tondo for free and helped construct them. Then, there are really good Catholics who reach out to prisoners, like in the Manila City Jail to conduct Bible study or catechetical apostolate.

Ask yourself: Are you engaged in something meaningful that’s beneficial to your Church and society? Can you say at the end of your earthly life, like Christ did, “mission accomplished”?

Or, will people say: “Good riddance” when you leave this world? The answer is in your hands…because Christian life is what you make it.

THE LIGHTER SIDE. Prayers. When little Jimmy had finished his nightly prayer he asked his mother what prayers were. She told him they were messages to God. “Oh, yes,” he said knowingly, “and do we get cheaper rates when we send them at night?”

Wife to husband: “What’s your excuse for coming home at this time of the night?”

Husband: “Golfing with friends, my dear.”

Wife: “What? At 2 a.m.?”

Husband: “Yes. We used night clubs.” (And the war of clubs started!).

TAXES. A man wrote a letter to the BIR: “I have been unable to sleep knowing that I cheated on my taxes. I have enclosed a check for P10,000. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send the rest.”

NEW BOOK – “Dialogue and Faith” authored by Fr. Leonardo N. Mercado has just been published.

Aside from the missiological chapters on dialogue with culture, dialogue with other faiths, a 69-page chapter narrates of the person of Fr. Floresca (1912-2000), one of the most outstanding Filipino SVD priests.

Said Chapter 4 may interest our older priests, ex-SVDs and friends to reminiscence about the good old days. Hence, the SVD centennial motto this year: “We remember, we rejoice, we renew.”

2012 Word Alive

Mission To Witness For Christ

By FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

May 18, 2012, 10:44pm

Mission To Witness For  Christ

MANILA, Philippines – SOME years ago, flushed from a successful flight to outer space, a Russian cosmonaut sarcastically remarked: “We’ve gone up to heaven, but we did not find God there.”

Obviously, the Russian cosmonaut, whose world view is purely materialistic, was speaking merely on the level of the physical and material.

This Sunday we celebrate the feast of Jesus’ ASCENSION. His Acension means not just a “space travel” but that Christ entered into a new dimension, an unseen but definitive presence which is the spiritual or immaterial.

His Ascension was not a separation. Neither was it some kind of a “retirement from public service” after accomplishing His mission. Rather it signified His exaltation as universal sovereign Lord of heaven after a fruitful life on earth.

Jesus Himself described His return to the Father as an “ascending movement” which began in humiliation and suffering and ended in His glorification. “Did not the Christ have to suffer… before entering into His glory?” (Lk 24:26).

In the Ascension episode, the Acts of the Apostles records Jesus telling His disciples “you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the ends of the earth.”

The story is told about an American army chaplain who had just preached a homily at a Mass for American servicemen in a cathedral in Europe. The theme of the homily was: “Be proud of your Catholic faith; don’t be ashamed to practice it in public.”

After the Mass, a sailor, obviously moved by the homily, approached the chaplain and asked to go to confession. The chaplain agreed and the sailor knelt down right on the sidewalk in front of the cathedral. “Never mind kneeling,” said the chaplain. “People will be staring at us.”

“The heck with them, Father,” the sailor said. “Didn’t you say, ‘Don’t be afraid to practice your faith in public?’”

The sailor’s spirit of witness might be exaggerated but he surely knew how to practice it.

Jesus’ command to be witnesses means we proclaim and give evidence of His teachings and works. And this includes all of us by reason of our baptism and confirmation.

The question is: How can followers of Christ witness about Jesus in today’s world? The feast of Ascension is World’s Day of Social Communications in the Catholic Church. People in mass media who, directly or indirectly, promote the Christian values of peace, justice, and love, witness Christ in their profession.

But there’s another way to carry out the commission of Jesus. It’s to become witnesses and evangelizers in our homes, our work places, and every place. We do this by giving testimony of Christian life by our good works and edifying examples.

For instance, we witness to Jesus by our patience when others annoy us, by our forgiveness when others wrong us, by our fidelity in an environment of unfaithful couples, by our honesty in our workplaces when others are dishonest.

May the feast of the Ascension remind us of the mission entrusted to us by the Lord to spread the Good News of salvation by words and deeds, wherever and whoever we are.

Source: mb.com.ph/articles/359905/mission-to-witness-for-christ

2018 Ascension, election, Mothers’ Day

May 13, 2018 | Word Alive | Posted by: Tempo Online

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Today we celebrate the feast of Jesus’ ASCENSION to heaven. His Ascension means not just a “space travel” but that Christ entered into a new dimension, an unseen but definitive presence which is the spiritual or immaterial.
Moreover, his Ascension was not a separation. Neither was it some kind of a “retirement from public service” after accomplishing his mission. Rather it signified his exaltation as universal sovereign Lord of heaven after a fruitful life on earth.

The message of Ascension is that we are all destined to pass from this life to the next. Just like Christ, after we have faithfully accomplished our mission in this world, we will also ascend to the heavenly glory. However, there’s one important thing to remember: We must fulfill God’s command, that is, love God, love your neighbor.

Tomorrow is Election Day for barangay officers and SK (Samahang Kabataan). Voters exercise your sovereign right to vote. But vote wisely and responsibly.

Here are the “10 Commandments for Responsible Voting,” prepared by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV):

1) Thou shalt vote according to the dictates of your conscience.

2) Thou shalt respect the decision of others in choosing their candidates.

3) Thou shalt seek to know the moral integrity, capabilities and other personal qualities of the candidates you will vote for.

4) Thou shalt strive to understand the issues, platform and programs of candidates and parties seeking your vote.

5) Thou shalt not sell your vote.

6) Thou shalt not vote for candidates using guns, goons and gold.

* * *

7) Thou shalt not vote for candidates with records of graft and corruption and to add: involved in illegal drugs.

8) Thou shalt not vote for candidates just because of utang na loob or debt of gratitude, popularity or pakikisama (goodwill).

9) Thou shalt not vote for candidates living an immoral life.

10) Thou shalt put the welfare of the country above all else in choosing the candidate you will vote for.

Today is Mothers’ Day. It focuses our attention on the value, the love and indispensability of our mothers.

Years before he became Pope Pius X, the newly-installed bishop, Joseph Melchiorre Sarto of Mantua (Italy), paid his mother a visit one day. In the course of the conversation, the prince of the church showed off to his mother his stone-studded episcopal ring.

Her mother simply smiled, put forward her hand calloused by years of hard work. Showing a plain wedding ring, she said, “Son, without this ring you would not have yours.”

Incidentally, do you know that the Church is called the “Holy Mother the Church”? It’s because, aside from her undying maternal care and love, she gives birth to us spiritually in the Sacrament of Baptism.

Let’s pray for mothers-in-law, too, even if they are caricatured as “contra bida,” meddlers and irritant.

As a joke goes: the husband is the POST of the family, the wife is the LIGHT, and the mother-in-law? She’s the TERMITE (anay) of the family. (Of course, not all are termites).

HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!

Source: tempo.com.ph/2018/05/13/ascension-election-mothers-day/

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