Acts of the Apostles 1, 1-11; Mark 16, 14-20
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Viri Galilaei, quid admiramini aspicientes in caelum? alleluia: quemadmodum
vidistis eum ascendentem in caelum, ita veniet, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus : jubilate Deo in voce exsultationis.
" '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.' (Mk 16,19) Christ's
body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the
new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys.
(Cf. Lk 24:31; Jn 20:19, 26) 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. (Cf.
Acts 1:3; 10:41; Mk 16:12; Lk 24:15; Jn 20:14-15; 21:4) 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. (Cf. Acts 1:9; 2:33; 7:56; Lk 9:34-35; 24:51; Ex 13:22;
Mk 16:19; Ps 110:1) Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus
show himself to Paul 'as to one untimely born,' in a last apparition that
established him as an apostle. (1 Cor 15:8; cf. 9:1; Gal 1:16).
Christ is seated at God's right hand, from whence he shall come to judge
the living and the dead. And how shall we live while separated from the
Lord of glory by this earthly life? By faith.
"Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation
is necessary for obtaining that salvation. (Cf. Mk 16:16; Jn 3:36; 6:40)
'Since "without faith it is impossible to please [God]' and to attain to
the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained
justification, nor will anyone obtain eternal life "but he who endures
unto the end" ' (Cf. Mt 10:22; 24:13 and Heb 11:6)" (CCC 161)
"God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer
goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life.
For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man.
He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength.
He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity
of his family, the Church." (CCC 1)
"So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent
forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel:
'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them
to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always,
to the close of the age.' (Mt 28:18-20) Strengthened by this mission, the
apostles 'went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with
them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.' (Mk 16:20)"
The Lord continues today to "work with" the Apostles, their successors
who proclaim in union with Peter the orthodox catholic faith that comes
to us from the Apostles. We reach eternal salvation by this one orthodox
faith. All of our thoughts, words and actions should be conformed to the
holy faith, should draw life from it, and build it up. ( See also CCC 977,
183, 1507, 659)
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we
"meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick
Used with the permission of Fr. Cusick from his website.