Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday's Message: Feast of the Ascension

Welcome back to another edition of Sunday's Message.  Here, I will reproduce the readings for Mass from The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition.  (I want to thank Greg Pierce at ACTA for giving me permission to do this weekly post.)  While this is not an "official" Catholic edition, one of my hopes for doing this new series is to have a lively discussion on the renderings, compared to the more formal ones we are use to reading and hearing at Mass.  Is there a place for a translation like this?  Could this be a good Bible to give to a Catholic "seeker" or young adult? I have used it while teaching my high school theology classes, along with the NRSV and NABRE, and have had positive results.  

I would like to also propose a question each week to reflect upon, particularly in light of the rendering found here in The Message: Reflecting on the Ascension of Christ, how do you live out the reality of being a part of the Body of Christ here and now?  In what areas of your life do you need to do this more?

Acts 1:1-11
Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he said good-bye to the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. After his death, he presented himself alive to them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to-face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God. As they met and ate meals together, he told them that they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but “must wait for what the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. John baptized in water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon.”
When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”
He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world.”
These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly two men appeared—in white robes! They said, “You Galileans!—why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and mysteriously—as he left.”

Psalm 47
God Most High is stunning,
astride land and ocean.
He crushes hostile people,
Sing songs to God, sing out!
Sing to our King, sing praise!
He’s Lord over earth,
so sing your best songs to God.
God is Lord of godless nations—
sovereign, he’s King of the mountain.
Princes from all over are gathered,
people of Abraham’s God.
The powers of earth are God’s—
he soars over all.

Ephesians 1:17-23
I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.

Mark 16:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned.
“These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.”
Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to heaven, and he sat down beside God in the place of honor. And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.]


Anonymous said...

Another penetrating question Timothy.
Which may have stunned your readership into silent reflection,as has happened with me.
But thanks for the challenge anyway.
God bless.

Enoch 76 said...

I am suffering listening to a progressive priest whose homilies are always geared to social engineering. He takes the Gospel readings and on cue he starts twisting the readings towards his agenda. I am a Biblical scholar and I try not to analyze homilies unless they are blatantly heretical. This weekend I thought he was going to say something to keep us focused on Christ. Well that was short lived. 1 minute into his homily Mark 16:15-20 he says that what the Lord said was pure hyperbole. For folks that might not fully comprehend this word here is the definition;
"Hyperboe; hyperbolē, "exaggeration") is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It is used in poems to create emphasis on a situation. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally."

I know in the Bible the use of metaphors and allegorical terms are used, but "hyperbole" is not.
I went home and of course opened my study Bibles and commentaries to make sure I was correct. I told my wife that in the future when Father Joe walks in, I will walk out.

Thank you for taking the time to make such a well thought out blog to help folks discern true Biblical aND Catholic teaching in a easy to understand format. I always tell folks that having a degree means nothing unless you have discernment and illumination of the Holy Spirit.

On the commentaries you offer, are you going to offer Kindle versions?

Thank you again.