Look up

A Rosary Meditation: The Second Glorious Mystery, The Ascension.

“And he was taken up into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19.

Can you imagine what it must have been like for the people there, on that day when Jesus left, as he ascended into Heaven? I’m very sure it was a once in a lifetime experience. Beyond that statement, well, honestly its a little difficult to know just what to say given that there’s so much that could be said. So we’ll stand back for a moment and just take a look at the crowd.

One thing is obvious. They all have their eyes on Christ. Now that’s a good example. Keeping their eyes on him they couldn’t go wrong, could they? Keeping their eyes on him insured they wouldn’t miss anything of importance, didn’t it? But what if …

What if, and I’ll use me now so I’ll not be accused of picking on anyone 😉 (most of the time I pick on me just for the fun of it anyway, saving my doctors the trouble … long, and funny, story, covering six and one half years, so just trust me here), I’d been there and I’d had my eyes on, oh, lets say the Apostle James? What would I have seen? I’d have seen James, a follower of Jesus and a good example. Now that’s a good thing isn’t it? Sure it is. Now, by watching James what would I have missed? Nothing if I was really watching James, or a lot if I’m not careful. I could have missed witnessing the ascension of Jesus if I was focused on James in the wrong way. I could have missed watching Jesus, I could have missed the main event wouldn’t I?

We all want to go to Heaven. Our dying in the Grace of God and making Heaven is a kind of personal spiritual ascension, isn’t it? And God gives us good personal examples, like James, to help us get to Heaven. So its OK to watch James so long as I have the right mind set and know WHY I’m watching James. But lets look at me standing there again, with my eyes on James but not paying the right kind of attention. I’m human so for a while I’m so caught up in watching James that I forget WHY I’m watching James. (I should be watching James because he is a good example of JESUS.) I’m missing the Ascension but I am watching a godly example. I’m watching a saint. But am I really? Because if I’m really watching St. James I’d see where it was he was looking and I’d look there too, wouldn’t I? And then I wouldn’t miss anything, would I?

We can watch the people around us. Depending on our intent and their actions watching them is a good thing or its not. Maybe we’re getting a good example out of the deal. We’ll hope so. We’re getting a good example if they’re looking up because we’ll be prompted to look up as well.

“Lift up your eyes on high, and see who hath created these things … ” Isaiah 40:26a, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … What ever else we do our primary focus needs to be looking up, looking up to Jesus.

P.S. … I may or may not miss a few days soon. I don’t think I will, but I might. I’m kinda in a rather intense study mode right now and I loose myself and all track of time as well. Short version: I forget everything, eating, sleeping, etc. except study. So if I come up missing for a day or two you can put it down to … A, Extreme focus (being the kind view) ~ or ~ B, Senility (being what’s probably the more correct view) … Once again saving my doctors the trouble of kidding me. (Amongst other things I had at some point, although I don’t remember it, a brain scan. My doctor tells me the results didn’t show any thing. 😉 )

The Blessing

A Rosary Meditation: The Second Glorious Mystery, The Ascension.

“Now he lead them out towards Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them.” Luke 24:50.

The culmination of 33 years, Christ’s life on earth, ends in a blessing. But then that was what he was all about, wasn’t it? Blessings were his business.

Jesus was always a blessing to those around him. Healing the sick, casting out demons, preaching the truths of the kingdom, offering forgiveness when no one else would. And he was willing to be a blessing to those who hated him if only they’d soften their hearts. It wasn’t Jesus who refused them the blessing, it was them who held it at arms length. God help us all. The crowd that screamed at Pilate, “Crucify him!”, and, “We have no king but Caesar!”, even these he allowed a blessing. They shouted, “Let his blood be upon us and our children!” Without realizing it, meaning to call down a curse upon themselves, they called down a blessing instead. What greater blessing than to be covered by the Blood of Jesus?

Here, in the above scripture, he is about to ascend into Heaven. But before he leaves his faithful few he blesses them one more time and then sends them into all the world to make disciples of all nations. One way of looking at that is this: He blessed them so that they could carry the blessing to others. And then he ascended, leaving them (us) to do his work.

Jesus was a blessing to others and still is. Through his Church. We’re supposed to be like him in all things. And if we’re a blessing like he was? Someday we’ll experience our own ascension, with our own resurrection bodies. Then we’ll be with him for eternity. Which was the plan all along.

“And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be.” John 14:3, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … Looking forward to a resurrection (glorified) body? Me too. I think I’m overdue for a trade in. Yesterday my blood work all looked good. Thank you for your prayers. 🙂

The Two Kinds of Ascending … Saturday, September 7

English: Ascension of Christ

Makes it look easy, doesn’t He?

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Glorious Mystery, the Ascension. Have you ever considered the power involved in Christ Ascending? It’s not just anyone who can overcome gravity. If you don’t believe me try a simple experiment. Jump up as high as you can. OK, now hold that position. I suppose only the Creator of gravity can control it. In ascending Christ proved His power over creation, proving Himself to be the Author of creation. He proved some other things too. In ascending He rose above the meanness of a sinful world, rose above the pettiness of those with no faith but great jealousy, rose above the pains of death and the grave that would hold those pains and their sufferer. Now, as Christians, we live in Christ. In sharing His life we share in the things of His life. Like crosses. But there’s more to living than carrying crosses. There’s also rising above. We can, if we’ll appropriate it, share in His ascension here and now. We do this by “rising above”. You can rise above meanness, pettiness, jealousy, violence, vulgarity, and ultimately death and the hole it crawls off into, by remaining, abiding, in Christ, living in Him, living with Him, living for Him, letting Him live through you. If you don’t believe me try a simple experiment. Raise your mind and heart to God. OK, now hold that position.

Today …

St. Regina

Saint Regina (Regnia, French: Sainte Reine) (3rd century) was a virgin martyr and saint of the Catholic Church. Regina was born in Autun, France, to a pagan named Clement. Her mother died at her birth and her father repudiated her. She then went to live with a Christian nurse who baptized her. Regina helped out by tending the sheep. She communed with God in prayer and meditated on the lives of the saints. In other words, despite the pagan and uncaring world around her, with the help of another Christian, her nurse, she “rose above”. She was betrothed to the proconsul Olybrius, but refused to renounce her faith to marry him, for which she was tortured and was beheaded at Alesia in the diocese of Autun, called Alise-Sainte-Reine after her. Her martyrdom is considered to have occurred either during the persecution of Decius, in 251, or under Maximian in 286. Either way, she rose above. You’ll recall that she did have help. The good Christian nurse. No log burns alone. One of the tools Jesus has supplied us with, a help in overcoming, is each other. St. Regina knows all about this. The next time you need help in rising above a person, place, or thing you might like to talk with her about it. Experienced friends, and she is one, are great assets.

Think … No log burns alone. But put enough of them (us) together and they can provide a fire that will enlighten the world. And warm cold hearts.

Not seeing can be believing if we know how to look … Wednesday, June 12

A Rosary Meditation … The Second Glorious Mystery, the Ascension. “And was taken up into heaven, and sits  at the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19.

      Dear brothers and sisters, the Ascension does not indicate the absence of Jesus, but tells us that He is alive among us in a new way; He is no longer in a definite place in the world as He was before the Ascension; He is now in the lordship of God, present in all space and time, next to each of us. We are never alone in our lives: We have this advocate who waits for us, we are never alone, ​​the Crucified and Risen Lord guides us, and with us there are many brothers and sisters who in silence and obscurity, in their family life and work, in their problems and difficulties, their joys and hopes, live their faith every day and, together with us, bring to the world the lordship of God’s love.  ~ Pope Francis, April 17, 2013 Audience.
      When we think of the Ascension we think of the leaving. We ought rather to concentrate on the coming. Christ is the Light of the world. God doesn’t mean for this Light to be hidden, and when Jesus ascended He became if anything all the more visible. How? Because we no longer think of Him as being in just one place. Because we know He is everywhere assessable we look for Him and find Him in all places, in every corner of the world, in every corner of our lives. If we’re willing we can find Him in every corner of our hearts. We also have a tendency to remember that the Ascension is a kind of prelude to the Second Coming. So we look for Him all the more, and the more we look the more we see of Him. We see Him in the works of a Mother Teresa, in the words of a Pope Francis, in the eyes of a child where the joy blooms when they hold a kitten for the first time. Jesus Ascended, but He never left. For folks who think He did, well, maybe they just need to look a little closer to home.
      Today …

Bl. Lorenzo Salvi

Bl. Lorenzo Salvi

Lorenzo Salvi di Mazzeria was born at Rome on October 30, 1782. He studied for the priesthood at Jesuit-run the Collegio Romano in Rome; his classmates included the future Pope Gregory XVI. He was greatly impressed by the preaching and zeal of Saint Vincent Strambi and soon followed him into the Passionist Congregation. He became a novice at Monte Argentario in 1801, the first monastery of the Passionists. He received the religious name Lorenzo Maria of Saint Francis Xavier and professed his vows on 20 November 1802, being ordained priest on 29 December 1805. The anti-clerical laws of Napoleon saw the Passionist house suppressed and its members dispersed. When at last Lorenzo was able to return to Passionist life he preached missions and encouraged devotion to the Passion of Christ, these two things being the hallmarks of the Passionist life. He was devoted to the Infant Jesus and often wrote about and preached on the wonders of the Incarnation, and ever since he has been depicted in religious art with a picture of the Child Jesus. He was made Rector of the Passionist mother house in Rome, SS John and Paul, but spent much of his time preaching missions. His Vice-Rector was Blessed Dominic Barberi. He died at Capranica, Viterbo, Italy of natural causes. Doesn’t sound like this saint lost sight of Jesus, does it?

Think … There is more to vision than natural sight.

Published in: on June 12, 2013 at 4:53 am  Comments Off on Not seeing can be believing if we know how to look … Wednesday, June 12  
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The Ascension of the Lord & Mother’s Day … Sunday, May 12

mothers day

You can give something much better and more meaningful, more lasting, than a card. Read on to learn what, and how …

This isn’t the Gospel reading for today, but in honor of Mother’s Day, Mary, and in hoping for what Jesus prayed for concerning us prior to His Passion and Ascension, lets consider …

John 17:20-26 Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying,“Holy Father, I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”

We might consider these words, the prayer Jesus offered prior to His Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension , a sort of last will and testament. Its advice, instructions, and direction for us. Today is Mother’s Day. Mary is the “realist” mother we have. For anyone who has kept up with my meager meanderings via this blog you know that, and this is only my feelings on the subject, adoption supersedes natural birth. This means that Mary is more my mother than any natural birth mother ever could be, just as God is my Father in more ways than any earthly father could ever fulfill. By saying this I in no way mean to detract from our “natural” mothers and fathers but rather to call attention to the importance of being adopted into the Family of God via our having been baptized and born again. It’s a big deal and we need to realize this and set priorities accordingly. And with these priorities in mind lets consider the prayer of Jesus, what His desires are for us as we await His return, a prayer He offered some time prior to His Ascension, knowing that He would leave and that we would need the realities He asks for us in this prayer, and how these priorities, these needed realities, pertain to us as Mary’s children. It is, after all, not only the day we celebrate the Ascension but Mother’s Day too.

Do you think that Mary, our very real and eternal Mother, would like to see us following a good example? Sure she would, any mother would. Do you think that we have a better example than Her Son Jesus? If we follow His example wouldn’t that be a wonderful Mother’s Day gift to Mary? God’s example is, in the last analysis, the example She follows, isn’t it? So let’s do the same and start today to make every day Mother’s Day for Mary by listening to and acting upon these words of Jesus. Read the above scripture passage slowly and digest it mentally a little at a time, like this …

Jesus lifted His eyes up to Heaven and He prayed. This gives us our direction, Heaven, and our primary focus of prayer. This is His example to us.

He prayed to His Father and so should we. We should pray for our fellow Catholics and also for those to come. Lots of times we pray for each other and for those gone on before us, the Souls in Purgatory, but here we have an example set before us of praying for “those who WILL (future tense) believe” in Jesus. They’re as much as part of this Family as we are.

One of the things we are to pray for is Christian Unity. Why? Well, for one thing it provides an evidence to the world that we are of Jesus and that God sent Him. ” … that the world may know that you sent Me, and that you loved them even as you loved Me.” Unity is evidence of the validity of Christ’s mission and God’s love. I mean, think about it. How does it look to an unchristian world to see “brothers” and “sisters” fighting amongst ourselves while saying “Love one another”? That’s a bad witness and we’re to pray and work and live against that sort of bad example. It turns people away from Jesus, and we’ll be held accountable for that.

We need to always remember that we are God’s gift to Jesus, and like any other gift He wants to KEEP us and to keep us WITH Him. When He ascended He went to Heaven. He wants us there too. Its something for us to live for, and to live right for.

Love, love, love. It needs to be the standard for all we do, think, say and believe. Remember that God is love and if we’re to be perfect like our Heavenly Father is then we need to be love also. Its one of the ways that the world around us directly experiences God.

All of this is a tall order. That’s OK, we’ve got lots of help. But right now, rather than think about how hard it is, let’s think about how joyous it is. Not only for us but for our Mother as well.


Published in: on May 12, 2013 at 5:04 am  Comments Off on The Ascension of the Lord & Mother’s Day … Sunday, May 12  
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