Banner
Spirituality
It’s time for deployment of the baptized Print E-mail
Written by Sharon K. Perkins   
Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Ascension
of the Lord

Acts 1:1-11
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9
Ephesians 1:17-23
Matthew 28:16-20

I've had the privilege of being present when two of my nephews were commissioned as Marine officers. They had been through months of rigorous academic, physical and leadership training, and it was a proud moment for their parents when the new officers, resplendent in their "dress blues," received their second lieutenant pins.

The most moving part of the commissioning ceremony was the officers' oath, ending with the solemn words, "I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion. . . I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter, so help me God."

My nephews' commissioning marked the beginning of a commitment of service to their country and their fellow Marines. Although the details of their future deployments were as then unknown, they had been well prepared, authorized, and empowered for the work that would be asked of them.

Today's readings are about a different kind of commissioning -- often referred to as "the great commission." The 11 disciples, prepared and taught by Jesus during his ministry, passion, death, and resurrection, assembled in Galilee as they had been instructed.

The writings of Matthew and Luke affirm both the given assignment -- to be witnesses to Jesus' Lordship to the entire world (evangelization) -- and the power to accomplish it, through the awaited gift of the Holy Spirit. While each disciple probably had "mental reservations" and the occasional temptation to evade his commission, Jesus' promise to be always with his body, the church, gave them the authority and the courage to fulfill their calling.

Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, says: "All the baptized, whatever their position in the church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. . . Indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God's saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love.

We, the baptized, are authorized by the Father, clothed in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit -- and our solemn oath is the promise made in baptism. It's time for deployment.


This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

 
Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Readings
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
 
Pope's Prayer Intention: May 2017 Print E-mail
Beginning in 2017, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two. A second prayer intention related to current events will be added each month. The urgent prayer request will mobilize prayer and attention to an immediate situation.

May Prayer Intention

Pope's Prayer Intention: Christians in Africa.

That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.

 
Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2017.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Sunday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 25
Ascension Thursday
Tuesday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Wednesday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Friday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Monday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
 
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.

Amen.

 
More Articles...
Banner