Readings and Reflection for Sunday May 16, Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord/World Communications Day – Seventh Sunday of Easter


“One of the men who have accompanied us must become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1: 15- 17.20a.20c-26)

In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘His office let another take.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us — one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL  PSALM    Ps 103: 1-2.11- 12.19-20ab (R. 19a)
R/. The Lord has fixed his throne in heaven.
Or: Alleluia.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all within me, his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and never forget all his benefits. R.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so strong his mercy for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far from us does he remove our transgressions. R.

The Lord has fixed his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom is ruling over all.
Bless the Lord, all you his angels,
mighty in power, fulfilling his word. R.

“He who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (l John 4;11-16)

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA John 14:18
Alleluia. I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord; I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice. Alleluia.

“May they be one, even as we are one!”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 17: 11b-19)

At that time: [Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying,] “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 none of them is lost but the son of perdition, 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, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even 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 consecrated in truth.”

 The Gospel of the Lord.

Jesus prays fervently and passionately for the unity among his chosen ones. He sees the danger. The evil one will scatter them. They are in the world, but not of the world. The only way to guard them from the dividing power of the evil one is to ‘sanctify them in truth’. The word of God is truth! The word of God has the power to withstand the forces of evil. The word of God can guard is from every danger. The word of God unites us among ourselves and with God. Remaining in the world and living and working for Jesus: that’s the vocation of every Christian. This vocation can be fulfilled only when Christians live and work in unity and love. Unity is love, and love is unity. God is love and love is God. When we live in love, we live in God and are sanctified and consecrated by God. This is the sure way to defeat the dividing and scattering power of the evil one. Do I live in and on the word of God? Do I live in love? Am I an agent of unity and harmony?


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