10 May 2013

12th May 2013 - Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord - Interview with Bishop Brendán Leahy of Limerick

On this weeks programme, John and Lorraine are joined by a very special guest, Bishop Brendán Leahy, the newly ordained bishop of Limerick diocese. We have our reflection on the weekly gospel as well as some liturgical odds and ends and notices.

You can listen to the podcast of the full programme HERE.

Getting to know Bishop Brendán Leahy - An Interview 

SS102fm is delighted this week to welcome onto the programme the new bishop of Limerick, Bishop Brendán Leahy. Regular readers of the blog will know we did a lot of coverage of his election/selection and his ordination and installation which can be viewed here. It was a great pleasure to have Bishop Brendán on the programme to explore with him is own vocation journey which has brought him to the banks of the Shannon and his hopes and aspirations for the diocese as he takes the helm.

He reflects on what it means for people who may be hanging on to their faith by their finger tips with the word of hope that faith is sometimes like that and to keep clinging on in faith and love. And that together as people of faith we can be pro-active in building up the church in the diocese.
You listen to Bishop Brendán's interview excerpted from the programme HERE.

Gospel - Luke 24:46-53 - The Ascension of the Lord

In Ireland this weekend, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Lord's Ascension on the Sunday following a decision around the celebration of certain holy days a couple of years ago by the Irish bishops.

iBenedictines have a thoughtful reflection On Not Celebrating Ascension Thursday.

The Feast of the Ascension is the fortieth day after Easter Sunday, which commemorates the Ascension of Christ into heaven, according to Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:2. The Ascension of Jesus is mentioned in the Apostles’ Creed, a profession of faith used for baptism in the early church. The feast of the Ascension ranks with Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost in the universality of its observance among Christians. The feast has been celebrated 40 days after Easter in both Eastern and Western Christianity since the 4th century.

The ascension is an important Christian feast attesting and celebrating the reality of the God-Man Jesus Christ's returning to the Father, to return again in the future parousia. The Ascension is the final component of the paschal mystery, which consists also of Jesus' Passion, Crucifixion, Death, Burial, Descent Among the Dead, and Resurrection. Along with the resurrection, the ascension functioned as a proof of Jesus' claim that he was the Messiah. The Ascension is also the event whereby humanity was taken into heaven. Finally, the ascension was also the "final blow" so-to-speak against Satan's power, and thus the lion (Jesus) conquering the dragon (Satan) is a symbol of the ascension. Early Christian art and iconography portrayed the ascension frequently, showing its importance to the early Church.

The Catholic Catechism summarizes three important theological aspects (with which most Christian churches agree) of the Ascension concisely:
Christ's Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus' humanity into God's heavenly domain, whence he will come again (cf. Acts 1:11); this humanity in the meantime hides him from the eyes of men (cf. Col 3:3).

Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father's glorious kingdom so that we, the members of his Body, may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever.

Jesus Christ, having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all, intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit (665-667).
Other thoughts and historical information and resources for the feast day available from Churchyear.net

"46 And he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.You are witnesses of these things.And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them.51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.*52And they worshipped him, and* returned to Jerusalem with great joy;53and they were continually in the temple blessing God"

"The Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ is very significant and very crucial in our salvation history. In the Apostle’s Creed, we profess our faith in these words: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Do we truly grasp the meaning of these words in our hearts? What does Christ’s Ascension really mean to us as Christians? Do we think that Jesus has ascended to Heaven and left us orphans" - Continue reading HERE.

Reflections on the Ascension of the Lord are available:

Word on Fire
English Dominicans
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
Blue Eyed Ennis
Whispers in the Loggia - including Pope Francis reflection on the feast

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Week 3

Saints of the Week

13th May - Our Lady of Fatima
14th May - St Matthias (Apostle)
15th May - St Carthage (bishop)
16th May - St Brendan the Navigator (abbot)
17th May - St Paschal Babylon - Patron of Eucharistic congresses and Eucharistic associations
18th May - St John I (Pope, martyr)

Link to the Limerick Diocesan Newsletter with notices and resources.

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