Ascension of the Lord, May 28 (Year A) Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20
Where did Jesus go when He ascended? Where is God? Physics, astronomy and other branches of science have shown the old spatial notion of God and the heavens to be inadequate. God is not “up there” or in any particular place, but equally present throughout the universe.
Third Sunday of Easter, April 30 (Year A) Acts 2:14, 22b-28; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35
Death could not hold Jesus. This was an important part of the first proclamation of the Risen Lord after the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Filled and emboldened with the Spirit, Peter recounted the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and he cast it as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.
VATICAN CITY – Simple gestures of welcome and solidarity, when supported by faith in Jesus' resurrection, proclaim the value of life, Pope Francis said.
WASHINGTON – Catholics and other Christians have grown up believing in the Resurrection, but the Apostles themselves were among the first who were skeptical that Jesus arose from the dead.
Believers and non-believers alike have been arguing about the Resurrection since the day Jesus rose.
Resurrection of the Lord, April 16 (Year A) Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Psalm 118; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18
The first Christian creeds were simple, direct and unadorned. The apostles proclaimed who Jesus was, what He did, what happened to Him, and His role in the universal judgment of humankind.
VATICAN CITY – Even in the midst of suffering and death, Christians can become witnesses of the Resurrection and the power of God's compassion, Pope Francis said as he proclaimed two new saints.
In a recent article in America magazine, Grant Kaplan, commenting on the challenge of the Resurrection, makes this comment: “Unlike previous communities in which the bond among members forges itself through those it excludes and scapegoats, the gratuity of the Resurrection allows for a community shaped by forgiven-forgivers.”
The stone which rolled away from the tomb of Jesus continues to roll away from every sort of grave. Goodness cannot be held, captured or put to death. It evades its pursuers, escapes capture, slips away, hides out, even leaves the churches sometimes, but forever rises, again and again, all over the world. Such is the meaning of the Resurrection.
Resurrection of the Lord (Year C) March 27 (Acts 10:34a, 37-43; Psalm 118; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18)
The most profound and gripping theologies take the form of a story. Few people are moved by dry metaphysical speculations or hairsplitting, but many are moved by a powerful story. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is as one movie title had it, The Greatest Story Ever Told. Perhaps that is part of the problem in our own time — we have opted for an overly rationalized and skeptical approach to our faith, allowing the power and excitement of the great story to slip away.
Ascension of the Lord (Year B) May 17 (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Mark 16:15-20)
Acts I of Luke’s magnificent account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus ended with the commission to the apostles in the upper room, the joyful reaction of His followers and the ascension of Jesus. When the curtain went up in Act II, Luke revisited the time between the Resurrection and the ascension. This time we are treated to a detailed account of what turns out to be a leisurely 40 days of instruction on the kingdom of God.
Third Sunday of Easter (Year B) April 19 (Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 2:1-5; Luke 24:35-48)
I live on 86 of the last few hundred acres of countryside separating Edinburgh from the next town over. My home is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, so it is safe from field-munching developers. Sadly, it may soon be the only greenery in an encroaching desert of urban sprawl. For the time being, however, the meadows beyond our garden walls flourish, populated still by goldfinches and bunny rabbits.