BEFORE YOU BEGIN:
Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit. “THE PARACLETE, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHOM THE FATHER WILL SEND IN MY NAME, WILL INSTRUCT YOU IN EVERYTHING, AND REMIND YOU OFALL THAT I TOLD YOU.” (John 14:26)
FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.
- What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard of Sunday?
- From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?
SECOND DAY READ ACTS 1:1-11 FIRST READING
(“He presented Himself alive to them…”)
- What was dealt with before Jesus was taken up to heaven? Acts 1:1.
- How did Jesus instruct the Apostles He had chosen? Acts 1:2
- After Jesus had suffered, what did He show His Apostles and how did He show them? Acts 1:3.
Personal – How have you been convinced that Jesus is alive today?
- Why did Jesus tell His disciples not to leave Jerusalem? Acts 1:4
- What did John baptize with and what would happen in a few days? Acts 1:5
- What did the Apostles ask Jesus and what did He tell them? Acts 1:6-7
- What did Jesus tell them they would receive when the Holy Spirit came down on them and what would that make them? Acts 1:8
- As the Apostles were looking on what happened to Jesus and how did it happen? Acts 1:9
- As they were looking up who appeared to them and what did they say? Acts 1:10-11
- How will the Lord come down from heaven and what will happen to the living, the believers in Him? 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Personal – How are you preparing for Jesus’ return?
THIRD DAY READ EPHESIANS 1:17-23 SECOND READING
(“What is the surpassing greatness of His power for us who believe?”)
- What is Paul asking our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, to give you? Ephesians 1:17
- What three things does he want your innermost vision, the eyes of your hearts, to know? Ephesians 1:18-19
- What do your eyes represent, and if your eyes are good what will your body be? Matthew 6:22
- What is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path? Psalm 119:105
- What is it like, this immeasurable scope of His power in us who believe? Ephesians 1: 19-20.
- Where is Christ seated? Ephesians 1:20-21
- What has God put beneath Jesus’ feet and what has He made Him over the Church, His body? Ephesians 1:22
- Who is the head of every man; who is the head of the woman and who is head of Christ? I Corinthians 11:3
- There is one what? Ephesians 4:4
- How is the body of Christ built up? Ephesians 4:11-12
Personal – How have the eyes of your heart been enlightened to the surpassing greatness of His power in you?
FOURTH DAY READ MARK 16:15-20 GOSPEL
(“The Lord continued to work with then; throughout…. “)
- What did Jesus tell his disciples to do and to whom? Mark 16:15
- What happens to whoever believes in the gospel and is baptized? Mark 16:16
- What happens to whoever does not believe in the gospel if it has been proclaimed to them? Mark 16:16
- When is there no condemnation? Romans 8:1
- What will accompany those who believe, in whose name will they drive out demons, and what will they speak? Mark 16:17
- What will they be able to handle and drink? Mark 16:18
- What will they do to the sick and what will happen to them? Mark 16:18
- What happened to the Lord Jesus after he was through speaking to them and where was He seated? Mark 16:19
- What did the Eleven go forth doing and what did the Lord continue to do? Mark 16:20
- How did the Lord confirm the message? Mark 16:20
Personal – What signs are accompanying your belief in Jesus at home, at work or at school?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 47:2-3, 6-9
(“God mounts His throne amid shouts of joy”)
Read and meditate on Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?
How can you apply this to your life?
SIXTH DAY READ ALL OF THE COMMENTARY
This passage begins with Luke addressing the Roman official called Theophilus. Luke was implying that Jesus’ work continues in Acts through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Acts is called by many the fifth Gospel in that it tells about the lives and events of the new Church.
Jesus showed the Apostles after His suffering and death His many wounds. He gave them many convincing proofs that He was alive. He told them that they would then receive the Holy Spirit and they would receive power and become His witnesses to the ends of the earth. He then was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid Him from their sight.
Today, He is still alive in the Power that lives within His Church and within you as a member of the community of His disciples. You have become a Temple of that Power by your Baptism and Confirmation. The Power that split the Red Sea for Moses lives within you. The Power that impregnated Mary with Jesus lives within you. The Power that baptized Jesus in the Jordan River lives within you. The power that raised Jesus from the dead lives within you. He is alive and He lives in you waiting to be given freely to the hurt, the lost, the sick, the lonely, and the captive throughout the ends of the earth.
In this passage St. Paul is praying and giving thanks for the gifts that have been given to the believers. We today are reminded to thank God for the gifts of wisdom and knowledge that are available to us today.
We grow in wisdom and knowledge through prayer, scripture, sacraments and Catholic Church teaching.
This follows an order of discipline and humility.
Our hope for the future is not an ambiguous feeling, on the contrary; it is a complete assurance of victory through the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ. We see many on all sides fearing nuclear disaster, computer meltdown and the collapse of morals. We must always remember we belong to the God of the Universe, who raised Jesus Christ from the dead. God’s great power is available to help us today through the Holy Spirit in the community of faith. Scripture tells us that with God nothing is impossible (Philippians 4:13). Paul tells us in scripture that we do not have to fear anything or anyone because nothing can separate us from God and His love (Romans 8:31-39).
When we talk about the fullness of the Catholic Church, we are talking about Christ filling the Church with gifts and blessings. The Church itself is the full expression of Christ who Himself is the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19). The image of the body shows the Church’s unity. We should not attempt to work, serve or worship on our own. There are no Lone Rangers in the Body of Christ. Each one of us is involved with all the others as we go about doing God’s work on earth.
We hear Jesus telling His disciples to go into the world and tell everyone the good news that He has reconciled us with God, and those who believe in Him can be forgiven and live eternally with God. The number one priority in the Church today is evangelization. We have disciples today in all parts of the world who are preaching this gospel to people who have never heard about Christ and also to people who have turned away from Christ. The driving power that carries Missionaries around the world proclaiming Christ is the Holy Spirit. As we grow in our relationship with Christ, we will experience with the Power of the Holy Spirit. We have heard about and seen the times when God intervenes miraculously to protect His followers. We have seen on occasions special powers given to them. Paul handled a snake safely (Acts 28:5) and some disciples did some healing (Matthew 10:1,Acts 31:7-8).We must always remember that we are to trust God, not test Him, by putting yourself in dangerous situations, but that should we find ourselves in danger, God will protect us.
The Church continues to lay hands on the sick and to pray for their healing, in body and in spirit, in the Anointing of the Sick. As a great blessing from God, the healing power of Christ is always at our disposal.
This passage emphasizes Christ’s power as well as His servant hood. Jesus’ life and teaching turned the world upside down. As believers we are called to be servants of Christ. Jesus’ physical work was complete when He ascended into heaven. Our work in His name continues on.
The first reading tells us as the Apostles were looking on, Jesus was lifted up and you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. In the second reading God seated Jesus at His right hand in the heavens and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, and in the Gospel the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God and the Lord worked with His disciples and confirmed the Word through accompanying signs.
This week let us go to someone who is sick in our family, our community or our parish, to pray with them. Proclaim the Good News to them that Jesus is alive as you lay hands on them. Pray for their healing and watch for the accompanying signs that God will perform, of hope, joy and peace, healing in spirit and in body, as God sees fit to bless them.