Daily Lent Prayer
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
Grant, almighty God,
through the yearly observances of holy Lent,
that we may grow in understanding
of the riches hidden in Christ
and by worthy conduct pursue their effects.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. *
Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Psalm 91: 1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13
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“You are not losing Me, but I am going to be with you in a different way through My Spirit.”
The ascension of Jesus produced joy because the disciples realized what amazing benefits would come to them when Jesus returned to the Father. When Jesus ascended, all the promises regarding the Spirit’s ministry to the disciples were about to be fulfilled. The disciples accepted His ascension, for they had accepted Jesus’ word about the promised One to come. Their doubts and fears were gone. They were convinced of who He was. They knew that He died to forgive them of their sins. They knew He was alive from the dead. In His resurrection, they had hope in victory over death.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He “presented Himself alive” (Acts 1:3) to the women near the tomb (Matthew 28:9-10), to His disciples (Luke 24:36-43), and to more than 500 others (1 Corinthians 15:6). In the days following His resurrection, Jesus taught His disciples about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3).
Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus and His disciples went to Mount Olivet, near Jerusalem. There, Jesus promised His followers that they would soon receive the Holy Spirit, and He instructed them to remain in Jerusalem until the Spirit had come. Then Jesus blessed them, and as He gave the blessing, He began to ascend into heaven. The account of Jesus’ ascension is found in Luke 24:50-51 and Acts 1:9-11.
It is plain from Scripture that Jesus’ ascension was a literal, bodily return to heaven. He rose from the ground gradually and visibly, observed by many intent onlookers. As the disciples strained to catch a last glimpse of Jesus, a cloud hid Him from their view, and two angels appeared and promised Christ’s return “in just the same way that you have watched Him go” (Acts 1:11).
Here are the 10 reasons why the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is meaningful;Read More »
Of the stories unique to the Gospel of Luke, perhaps none is as compelling and fascinating as that of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24:13-35). It is like a microcosm of the Church itself. It is filled with imagery that is pertinent not only to the Easter season, but to every day in the Church’s life. In fact, scholars suggest that the narrative is largely catechetical and liturgical in nature, fitting well in the post-Easter context of mystagogy, deepening one’s appreciation and understanding of the faith.
Four Revealing Details
While, reflecting on this story over many years, I have come to realize that it contains an incredible number of details that pertain to the Church’s ongoing life of faith. I only have space to focus on four of them here that seem particularly pertinent to this liturgical year and the Year of Faith we celebrate.
• Word and SacramentRead More »
“Because of the empty tomb, we have peace. Because of His resurrection, we can have peace during even the most troubling of times because we know He is in control of all that happens in the world.” ~ Paul Chappell
The gleaming cloud tops and fragrant spring air would have invigorated most travellers leaving Jerusalem that Sunday afternoon. But these two began their trek to Emmaus staring grimly at the trail, forcing leaden feet up the steep path to the ridge, where they would follow the road down the Judean slopes.
Cleopas and his friend were going over and over the events of the weekend that had climaxed with their Leader hanging limp, pale, lifeless on a stained wooden cross. Then a hurried burial — and despair.
Hearing the crunch of footsteps behind them, Cleopas glanced back. Another traveller was rapidly climbing the grade, as if to join them. But he had caught only fragments of their conversation. “What are you talking about?” he asked, as he caught up to them.Read More »
It’s hard to imagine a greater contrast between these two sinners: Judas Iscariot and Mary Magdalene. While Mary wept for her sins, and then lavished Jesus with her love, Judas complained of her extravagance, and then went to betray his Lord.
Mary Is Justified
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” But Judas said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.
There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her.Read More »
“The risen life of Jesus is the nourishment and strengthening and blessing and life of a Christian. Our daily experience ought to be that there comes, wavelet by wavelet, that silent, gentle, and yet omnipotent influx into our empty hearts, this very life of Christ Himself.” ~ Alexander MacLaren