The Ascension, Year B
The Ascension is celebrated on Ascension Thursday, 13 May, in England & Wales and in Scotland. In the USA it is celebrated on Ascension Thursday in the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, Philadelphia, elsewhere on Sunday 2 June. In all of these areas Ascension Thursday is a Holyday of Obligation.
The Ascension is observed on Sunday, 16 May, in Aotearoa-New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Philippines.
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland)
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Gospel Mark 16:15-20 (English Standard Version, Anglicised)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.
Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B
These readings are used in countries/jurisdictions that observe the solemnity on Ascension Thursday.
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Gospel John 17:11b-19 (English Standard Version, Anglicised)
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them[ in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
Fr Giuseppe Raviolo SJ (1923 - 1998) was a Pope St John XXIII-like
figure, physically and spiritually, from Italy who spent most of his priestly
life in Mindanao, Philippines, where I came to know him. He was the first
rector of St John Vianney Major Seminary in Cagayan de Oro City. But he also
spent nine years in Vietnam and was rector of the major seminary in Saigon, now
Ho Chi Minh City, during the Vietnam War. He once told me an extraordinary
story from that period.
The North Vietnamese Army was advancing on Saigon. The soldiers were divided into groups of three. The standing order was that if one tried to surrender the other two were to shoot him. One particular group found themselves surrounded by American soldiers and one of them surrendered. The other two did not shoot their companion and were captured along with him. Later they asked their companion why he had taken such a risk. He answered, I knew you were Christians and that you would not shoot me. The two were in fact Catholics and had discussed the matter and had decided that, as Christians, they could not shoot their companion if that particular situation arose.
These were soldiers in the army of a Communist country, an army without any chaplains, and their companion, who was not a Christian, took it for granted that they would not take his life because he knew that they were Christians.
Those two Catholic soldiers in the North Vietnamese army were powerful witnesses of Jesus to their companion. They chose to live their faith in Jesus. And he entrusted his life to them because he knew they were Christians.
How many strangers would entrust their life to us simply because they knew we were Christians?
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Antiphona ad introitum Entrance Antiphon Acts 1:11
Setting by William Byrd
Sung by Cardinall’s Musick
Viri Galilaei, quid admiramini aspicientes in
Men of Galilee, why gaze in wonder at the heavens?Quemadmodum vidisti eum ascendentem in caelum, ita veniet, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.This Jesus whom you saw ascending into heaven will return as you saw him go, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Omnes gentes plaudit manibusL iubilate Deo in voce exultationis.
Clap your hands all peoples! Shout to God with loud sounds of joy!
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Viri Galilaei, quid admiramini
aspicientes in caelum?
Men of Galilee, why gaze in wonder at the heavens?Quemadmodum vidisti eum ascendentem in caelum, ita veniet, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
This Jesus whom you saw ascending into heaven will return as you saw him go, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
In the Extraordinary Form of the Mass the whole text above is sung or recited. In the Ordinary Form the text in bold is recited or sung unless it is replaced by a suitable hymn.
Extraordinary Form of the Mass
Traditional Latin Mass (TLM)
The complete Mass in Latin and English is here. (Adjust the date at the top of that page to 5-13-2021 if necessary).
Sunday After the Ascension
The complete Mass in Latin and English is here. (Adjust the date at the top of that page to 5-16-2021 if necessary).
Authentic beauty, however, unlocks the yearning of the human heart, the profound desire to know, to love, to go towards the Other, to reach for the Beyond.
Pope Benedict XVI meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel, 21