Monday, May 21, 2012

More Encouragement, Thank the Lord

I really appreciated our priest's homily yesterday.  Ever since joining the Church, I thought it a little odd that Ascension Thursday was no longer a Holy Day of Obligation and that they moved the celebration to Sunday.  Fr. F. gave a very good explanation for that.  After the number of Holy Days of Obligation were reduced in the American Church, Ascension Thursday tended to be forgotten in most parishes and dioceses.  So, the bishops decided to move it to Sunday.  Why?  Because it IS important.  We, as Catholics, are obligated to go to Mass EVERY Sunday.  Every Sunday is a Holy Day of Obligation. 

The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."  [117 CIC, can. 1247.]  (CCC 2180)

Therefore the celebration of the Ascension of Our Lord and His permanent place at the right hand of the Father is extremely important.  He ascended back to the Father under His own power.

"So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God."532 Christ's body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys.533 But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity.534 Jesus' final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God's right hand.535  (CCC 659)  [532 Mk 16:19.
533 Cf Lk 24:31; Jn 20:19,26.  534 Cf. Acts 1:3; 10:41; Mk 16:12; Lk 24:15; Jn 20:14-15; 21:4.
535 Cf. Acts 1:9; 2:33; 7:56; Lk 9:34-35; 24:51; Ex 13:22; Mk 16:19; Ps 110:1.]

He became a real human being, but at the Ascension His human body was glorified and became fully a part of His divinity.  It truly is one of the most wonderful mysteries of our Faith.

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