Worship At Home, The Ascension of the Lord

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Worship at Home with Corpus Christi Church

The Ascension of the Lord

 

Whatever your present status in the Catholic Church, whatever your
current family or marital situation, whatever your past or present
religious affiliation, whatever your personal history, age, background,
race or color, sexual orientation, whatever your self-esteem…you are
invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected by the
Catholic Community of Corpus Christi.
Let us know your needs, your hopes, your gifts.
There is a place for you here.

 


Opening Song

Christ Is Risen! Shout Hosanna!:

 

Opening Prayer

Fr. John Parkos

We come together today as God’s covenant people /
sisters and brothers and friends of a prodigal Father,
and a saving brother, Jesus Christ, who never ever gives up on us,
who went to the cross and to the grave, to be in solidarity with us.
Then he rose from the dead and returned to his Father,
to be able to bring us with Him,
for us to be with him at the right hand of God,
already now and for all eternity.
That is quite a trip! … for him! … for us!
We, too have been on quite a journey these last several months,
with more danger and more hardship and more grieving
than we could have imagined when we began Lent this Spring.
There is a word in our language that fits this process …
at least in its root / original meaning. The word is “miserable.”
Miserere means, literally, mercy.
Then add the word able, to become “miser-able.”
And the root / original meaning of the word
says that “we are a fit subject for mercy.”
The original meaning of the word is not negative, but quite positive:
We are a fit subject for God’s mercy.
So, our coming together today is to claim the mercy
we know God wants to give us – Mercy in whatever form
God sees we need it – as each individual and as a community.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
May almighty God have mercy on us,
forgive us our sins,
and bring us to everlasting life.

Amen

 


The First Reading

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles
In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

Psalm

God Mounts His Throne:

 

 

The Second Reading

A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians
Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
The word of the Lord

Thanks Be To God

 

 

Gospel Acclamation:

 

 

The Gospel

 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
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 behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
The Gospel of the Lord

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

 

 


Homily

Fr. John Parkos:

This Memorial Weekend, annually, we put a lot of focus on remembering with gratitude our war dead … going back over two hundred years. And remembering that these ordinary people did something quite extraordinary: they gave their last full measure of devotion, so that you and I could be free – free from oppressions of many kinds and free for making decisions that are healthy and life-giving.
We also make it a point to remember folks we called family and friends, who have preceded us into everlasting life. Their passing has left major holes in the fabric of our emotions. And we are also hugely grateful for how their love has enriched our lives.
We are also, this year, raw with emotion over how these last months, battling the Corona virus has racked up huge numbers of family and friends and neighbors, who have been ripped out of the fabric of life in our country and around the world.
Facing such in-your-face encounters with death on all these levels is causing us to evaluate how pandemic and war and oppressions of every sort have imposed on us, and on peoples across the world and across the centuries; not punishment for our sins, but more nearly we are being punished, collectively, by our sins; because our world culture keeps reverting to the growth patterns of three steps forward and two steps back.
The pain one brings upon oneself or upon whole cultures, by endlessly living outside of evident reality is a greater and longer-lasting pain than the brief pain of facing our poor choices head on. Enlightened people invariably describe the spiritual experience of God as resting, peace, delight, and even ecstasy (not vengeful and unforgiving).
World culture is maturing and evolving, but it is by fits and starts, and painfully slow. When will we ever learn better ways / surer ways of growing up and taking better care of one another?
When will we learn, once and for all, that WE must BE the change we want to see? Why is that so hard to learn / remember?
It’s not that we do not know better ways of living. All the religions of the world have wrestled with and taught the better way for thousands of years. We don’t have to invent the better way. But here we are again, on the cutting edge of needing to wake it up and take it seriously … yet again.
Here we are again, like the disciples on the day of the first Ascension Day, standing with our mouths open, gaping at Jesus returning to the right hand of the Father. And those same angels are saying to us, “Guys, get busy! Jesus never told you to worship him, but he commanded you to follow him. So, what are you doing … yet again: worshipping and not following!
Get serious and get busy! You know what you must do: feed the hungry; take care of widows and orphans; the rich don’t need your help, but the poor do! Set yourselves free by forgiving every wrong. Forgive, so that you have sufficient time and energy and stamina to embrace the better way.Shake the dust off your feet and get busy!!!” (Acts 1:11)
These annual commemorations of death (Memorial Day / Decoration Day) and the in-your-face reality of pandemic deaths and danger of infection, hold an opportunity for us. So does our annual celebration of the Ascension. We can engage them in the same way that many couples renew their marriage vows, and the way that many people celebrate their birthdays, and the emerging dimensions of interacting with folks who have preceded us into eternity.
Wedding anniversaries can celebrate successfully engaging life and one another for 25 or 30 or 40 or 50 years. But they can also repeat the open-endedness of speaking their vows on their wedding day. They were then, and now, saying an open-ended “yes” to whatever the future will bring.
Birthdays can be approached in the same way. Certainly, celebrate arriving at whatever age, successfully and in decent health. But also, dialog with God about walking with each other through thick and thin.
Call to mind your / our gratitude that we have a stable place to stand on the shoulders of previous modeling and mentoring generations, who engaged life and dared to risk dangers as well as accomplishments, for their own wellbeing and those of their descendants. And remember as well how future generations are counting on us to do the same.
And when family members and friends pass over into eternity, by all means celebrate their lives. But also recall, for their sake and our own, how well we engage our God daily, shapes the strength and promise of a strong hope of the destiny God dreamed, from all eternity, for them and for us.
More than we often reflect on, life is very much about walking each other home.

 

 

Another Reflection

This Sunday we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. This feast is a celebration of a real absence and a real presence. The human incarnation of God on earth, was limited to a specific time and place in history. Despite those limitations, Jesus ensured that his message and ministry would continue through those he had taught. This important celebration prepares us for next week to celebrate the birth of the Church through Pentecost with the Holy Spirit as our advocate. The promise of Jesus saying “I am with you always” brings us back to his birth; Emmanuel, God-with-us. Jesus’ dis-appearance is not the same as abandonment. Jesus continues to be a living presence in our midst. Christ’s presence abides before us, behind us, over us, and in us. In the Gospel of Matthew, we are meeting Jesus on a mountain in Galilee, and when the disciples saw Jesus, they worshiped, but they doubted. A powerful image for all of us who struggle from time to time. Even the disciples who had Jesus in their midst, doubted, and Jesus still loved and walked with them. We are not alone. This Gospel also holds The Great Commission, “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.” Jesus commands that discipleship now be extended to all nations, no one is excluded. Empowered by the Spirit, they are to become the hands and feet and mouth of Jesus continuing his work until the end of time.
We to hear this same call to action today. Jesus didn’t say that we are to make disciples of all nations by telling them to think about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, he says “baptize them”, immerse them, plunge them, wash them, soak them in the name of the very attributes of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is hands-on work meeting people where they are, inviting and accompanying them. Our community name is Corpus Christi, “Body of Christ,” how are we doing answering this call? Our world still needs hands to embrace those needing comfort or love, to uplift, to work, to create a new inclusive world. Our world still needs words to be spoken to bring healing and consoling, to sing a song that transforms, to tell the truth, to bring justice. Our world still needs to eyes to see those forgotten or in pain, to see the best in people, looking with eyes of mercy and compassion instead of condemning and creating further division. Here on this planet, in our time, we continue the saving work for the earth and human history. We need to do what we can while we are still here. Each of us has been given gifts meant to share. We are commissioned to go out to the world at the end of every liturgy “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.” This changes our worship, we are not just here for ourselves, our liturgy is about celebrating what God has done in the world through us and helps to prepare us for what still needs to be accomplished. We are refueled for the task ahead. Right now, we are being challenged to worship differently and creatively to connect with one another to go about the work of the Lord. How will we answer that call today?

 

 

Reflection Song

Song of the Lord’s Command:

 


Profession of Faith

Let us profess our faith:

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,          
born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,

and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Amen.

 


Prayers of the Faithful

PRESIDER:
As we reflect on our responsibility to assume the work of the disciples,
we pray for ourselves,
for our neighbors
and for the courage to live in our challenging world.
LECTOR:
For the Church:
May we find new ways to strive towards unity serving as one body,
extending compassionate arms and offering words of consolation and peace…
We pray to the Lord,

Lord hear our prayer.

For the world and its leaders:
May we build a world rich in mercy,
bright with care for the vulnerable,
renewed by an awareness of the deeply spiritual nature of life
and the presence of the divine…
We pray to the Lord,

Lord hear our prayer.

On this Memorial Day weekend,
we pray for those who lost their lives in war,
for those in danger today,
and for their families and friends…
We pray to the Lord,

Lord hear our prayer.

For the courage to listen to the needs of the unchurched
and for the creativity to imagine new ways to communicate God’s love with them…
We pray to the Lord,

Lord hear our prayer.

For all who are in need of any kind:
May we do what we can to help and care for the sick among us…
We pray to the Lord,

Lord hear our prayer.

For those who have lost loved ones,
comfort them in their grief and heal the broken-hearted.
We remember those who have died,
especially, Ivan Kristjanson, father of Mark Kristjanson…

(PAUSE)

May they find eternal rest…
We pray to the Lord,

Lord hear our prayer.

 

PRESIDER:
Loving God, you have called us to be the church.
Grant us the same joy and enthusiasm that filled the disciples,
so that we may continue to carry on as his witnesses.
We place our hope in you.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

 


Closing Prayer

Gracious God,
We strive to be people of peace and love in our world.
Help us turn to you when our hearts need comfort and our minds need peace.
Kindle in us new ways to share your love to reach those who are in need.
We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation,
for the beauty of this world,
for the wonder of life,
and for the mystery of love.
Remembering that you call us to be people who share your light with others,
we pray in the words Jesus taught us:

Our Father,
who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done.
on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Amen.