By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn
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 OF ALL THAT I TOLD YOU.” (John 14:26)
FIRST DAY Reread last weeks readings.
- What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on 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
(“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? 1 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 MATTHEW 28:16-20 GOSPEL
(“Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you.”)
- Who went to Galilee and for what reason did they go there? Matthew 28:16
- Who told the disciples where to find Jesus? Matthew 28:1, 7 & 10
Personal – How do you see women’s role in God’s plan of salvation according to the above question?
- When the disciples saw Jesus what did those who had entertained doubts do? Matthew 28:17
- What did Jesus tell Thomas? John 20:29
- What did Jesus tell His disciples has been given to Him both in heaven and on earth? Matthew 28:18
- What did Jesus tell His disciples to make? Matthew 28:19
- Who did Jesus say are His disciples? John 8:31
- In whose name were the disciples to baptize? Matthew 28:19
- What were the disciples to teach? Matthew 28:20
- Which disciple did Jesus say He would build His Church and entrust to him the keys to the kingdom of heaven? Matthew 16:16-19
- What did Jesus say He would do and for how long? Matthew 28:20
Personal – To whom have you been called to teach what you have learned from God’s Word? Under whose authority have you been in doing this?
FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 47:2-3, 6-9
(“God mounts His throne amid shouts of joy;”)
Read and mediate 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 not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the gift that His Father had promised them. 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 among us 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, 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 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, with Christ at its head, 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.
This feast is a time of joy, a time of consolation, and of course, a time of hope for anyone who is a true believer.
We celebrate the feast day on the strength of His promise to always be with us and the power of His commission to evangelize. We know that earthly death awaits everyone of us, but because of His promise, we also know that it is not the end of us, but rather the beginning. Today’s feast is the reminder of this consoling fact..
I invite you to picture the eleven disciples going to the mountain in Galilee as Jesus had directed them through the women at the tomb (Matthew 28:10). When they saw Him many fell on their knees and worshiped Him, even those who had some doubts. His last words and appearance on earth still ring out with authority and power. He told them that all authority on heaven and earth had been given to Him. He gave them access to that power when He entrusted to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the leadership of His Church on earth (Matthew 16:16-19). This authority has been passed down from Peter to the succession of Popes in the Church.
Today, the Church teaches us with that same authority and power to go forth and make disciples of all nations. Jesus told them to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. He closes by telling His disciples that He would be with them always. He is telling us that same message today, we are to go out and make disciples of all nations and that He would be with us for all ages. Go forth now and do the right thing.
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 we are all commissioned to make disciples of everyone starting with our own families.
This week let us go to someone in our family, our community or our parish, to pray with them and proclaim the Good News to them. You might want to ask your pastor how you can help him fulfill the great commission and make disciples of all his parishioners.