16 May 2015

17th May 2015 - Bishop Donal Murray: What does it mean to have an informed conscience? - Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

On this weeks programme John and the SS102fm team are joined with Dr Donal Murray, bishop-emeritus of Limerick to explore the understanding of what it means to have an informed conscience. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

You can listen to the discussion about informed conscience excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

What does it mean to have an informed conscience?

Dr Donal Murray joins the SS102fm team this week to explore and tease out what it means to have an informed conscience. "Freedom of conscience" is regarded as one the key human rights of the current age but what does it actually mean? What is conscience? Can a person be compelled to act against their conscience? How is a person to form his conscience so that it is not just their opinion but a considered and informed discernment?

You can listen to the discussion about informed conscience excerpted from the main programme podcast HERE.

Some links around the issue of conscience:

Catechism of the Catholic Church
Cardinal Newman and conscience - Birmingham Oratory
How Can We Hear the "Voice of God"? Blessed John Henry Newman and conscience Stephanie A. Mann The Catholic Answer 
EWTN - Catholic Conscience and Dissent

Gospel - Mark 16:15-20 - Ascension of the Lord

Ancient tradition held that Ascension fell 40 days after Easter but for various reasons, the Irish bishops moved the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord to the Sunday following the traditional date which we celebrate this year on May 17th

"As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’" (Acts 1: 1-11)

The Ascension of Jesus is the Christian teaching found in the New Testament when the resurrected Jesus was taken up to heaven in his resurrected body, in the presence of eleven of his apostles, occurring 40 days after the resurrection. An angel told the watching disciples that Jesus' second coming would take place in the same manner as his ascension. The Ascension of Jesus is professed in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles' Creed. The Ascension implies Jesus' humanity being taken into heaven. The familiar account of Jesus ascending bodily into the clouds is given fully only in the Acts of the Apostles, but is briefly described also in the Gospel of Luke (often considered to be by the same author) at 24:50–53 and in the ending of Mark 16 at 16:19

In Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox theology, the Ascension is interpreted as the culmination of the Mystery of the Incarnation, in that it not only marked the completion of Jesus' physical presence among his apostles, but consummated the union of God and man when Jesus ascended in his glorified human body to sit at the right hand of God the Father. The Ascension and the Transfiguration both figure prominently in the Orthodox doctrine of theosis. The bodily Ascension into heaven is also understood as the final token of Christ's two natures: divine and human.

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

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
English Dominican
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections
Carmelites weekly lectio divina

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: psalter week 3; 7th week of Easter

Saints of the Week

May 18th - St John I 
May 19th - St. Theophilus of Corte
May 20th - St Bernardine of Siena
May 21st - Ss Christopher Magallánes & Companions
May 22nd - St Rita of Casica
May 23rd - Bl Oscar Arnulfo Romero