May 24, 2020

Seventh Sunday of Easter

This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord may be observed this Sunday. The prayers and scriptures from both celebrations look to prepare the church for next Sunday’s feast of Pentecost. The Easter cycle is drawing to a close. The mission of Jesus continues in those who belong to the body of Christ. The collect prayer expresses this truth, “…for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, where the head has gone before in glory, the body is called to follow in hope.”

The Ascension is a cosmic event. I am troubled by images that make Jesus appear to be somewhere in outer space, far, far away. The kingdom of God is near to us. It is already given to us, awaiting us. The prayer over the Offerings prays: “…that through this holiest exchange we, too, may rise up to the heavenly realms.”

The Acts of the Apostles brings the apostles back to the upper room with Mary, some other women, and brothers in prayer. The departure of Jesus from this life is completed. The gospel recalls the final words Jesus spoke in this room the night before he died. In handing over his life to glorify the father, it was out of love, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them (John 17:26).

How are we to live the Ascension of Christ as members of his body? The Eucharist helps us to identify the divine presence living within us and to recognize that presence in others, loving them as God does. We need to rise above human limitations to glorify the presence of God so near to us at all times.

Let us pray:

Grant us confidence that through these sacred mysteries, there will be accomplished in the body of the whole church what has already come to pass in Christ her head. Amen. (Communion Prayer, 7th Sunday of Easter).


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About William Fickel, SSS