16-17May 2015,,Ascension Day (Yr B)

14/05/2015

St John the Evangelist

New Ferry, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury (reg. charity 234025)

Parish priest: Fr Bernard Forshaw (also parish priest of the parish of St Anne, Rock Ferry)

Deacons: Revd Philip White; Revd Michael Daly

phone: 0151 645 3314

email: stjohntheevangelist

websites: www.stjohnevang.co.uk www.lpa24.org

16-17May 2015

Ascension Day (Yr B)

FAITH IN FOCUS: PARTING GIFTS

When Jesus left this earth by ascending into heaven he did not leave his disciples empty-handed. He left them some parting gifts.

The first parting gift was unfinished business. Ascension is not the end but the beginning for the Church. Jesus did not tell his disciples to sit and reminisce but to go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all peoples. And so it is with the Church today: we do not exist for ourselves but for others. Christians are not simply called to become holy; they are called to tell others about the holiness of God so that they too may come to wholeness and holiness. In a recession the first thing that goes is the advertising budget and the next thing is the business itself. We need to remind ourselves that we exist to make Jesus Christ known and loved. And this proclaiming business is always unfinished.

The second gift that Jesus left at the ascension was an unfathomable love. Many religions and philosophies are a catalogue of thoughts and ideas. They exist by rules and codes of practice. But Jesus never left us any long lists of dogmas or regulations. What he did leave us was an example. At the heart of Jesus’ every word and action is love. He tells us that our God is a lover, that he loves us infinitely more than we can ever imagine or comprehend. And ascension is not God’s departure from our world but his continued presence in an even deeper way. For we are not left like orphans; we have the gift of God’s daily love in the person of the Holy Spirit. In this way God is with us till the end of the world and certainly till the end of our days.

Jesus’ final ascension gift to us was an unfailing promise. For this feast is a feast of hope. Jesus promises us that where he has gone we too can follow, and this is both our glory and our hope. Although he has passed beyond our sight we know that one day we will see him in glory and this promise supports and sustains all our Christian activity and faith.

Unfinished business, unfathomable love and an unfailing promise: all of these await us if we dare to celebrate the Ascension of the Lord.

WORD OF GOD

Go out to the whole world;

proclaim the Good News to all creation.

(Mark 16:16)

WORD FOR TODAY

As surely as Christ ascended to heaven, he will return again. So keeping our heads in the clouds is no response to the ascension. Today’s feast invites us to hope that where Jesus has gone we may follow; but in the meantime we are challenged to continue his kingdom here on earth.

The ascension of Christ is the end of the gospel and the beginning of the mission.

(William Baird)

The last act of the Saviour upon the earth was a blessing.

(B W Johnson) The last act of the Saviour upon the earth was a blessing.

The Lord is movement towards above, and only in moving ourselves, in looking up and ascending, do we recognise him. When we read the Church Fathers something important is added. The correct ascent of man occurs precisely where he learns, in humbly turning toward his neighbour, to bow very deeply, down to his feet, down to the gesture of the washing of feet.

It is precisely humility, which can bow low, that carries man upward. This is the dynamic of ascent that the feast of the Ascension wants to teach us.

(Pope Benedict XVI)

Foodbank

While still welcoming all the usual commodities, the Foodbank is very short of basic toiletries such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. When you are next shopping perhaps you could pick up one or two of these items. Thank you for your ongoing support for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Ascension to ‘Abba’: St Teresa speaks

In coming to know our true country, and realising that we are pilgrims here below, it is wonderful to know where we will live.

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