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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Notes from May 30, 2014: Catholic Bible Encounter - Legion of Mary Bible Study presented by Father Antonio O. Moreno

Catholic Bible Encounter: Legion of Mary Bible Study - 30 May 2014

Theme: He Ascended into Heaven Scripture: Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord - Acts 1: 1-11; Psalm 42; Ephesians 1:17-23; Gospel of St. Matthew 28: 16-20


Catechism of the Catholic Church (645-667) Article 6 "He Ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father"

659 - "So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19:." Christ's body was glorified at the moment of his resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys (Lk 24:31; Jn 20:19,26)." But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity (Acts 1:3; 10:41; Mk 16:12; Lk 24:15; Jn 20:14-15; 21:14)." Jesus's final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God's right hand (Acts 1:9; 2:33; 7:56; Lk 9:34-35; 24:51; Ex 13:22; Mk 16:19; Ps 110)." Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul "as to one untimely born," in a last apparition that established him as a apostle ( 1Cor 15:8; 9:1; Gal 1:16)."

Acts 1:1-11 - Functions as a transition to a new stage in the story of Jesus and the Apostles (Church), a transition wherein St. Luke provides material that is rewritten and elaborated apart of the story already told (Gospel of Luke).

Review of St. Luke's Gospel:
1. The teaching and actions of Jesus in the Gospel
2. The selection of the Apostles
3. Jesus's suffering
4. Jesus's resurrection appearances
5. Jesus's eating with the disciples
6. Jesus's commission of the Apostles as witness from Jerusalem to the nations
7. the promise of the Holy Spirit
8. the ascent into heaven

A. Theophilus = Beloved of God, Friend of God - a patron of St. Luke who donated to have both accounts of Jesus's and the Church's life and ministry written into a composition - Gospel and Acts.
B. Acts is written in an ordered way - Gospel = the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ and Acts= the life and ministry of the Apostolic Church establish by Jesus the Christ with St. Peter as head.

661 - This final stage stays closely linked to the first, that is, to his descent from heaven in the Incarnation. Only the one who "came from the Father" can return to the Father: Christ Jesus (Jn 16:28). "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man (Jn 3:13; Eph 4:8-10)." Left to its own natural powers humanity does not have access to the "Father's house," to God's life ad happiness (Jn 14:2)". Only Christ can open to man such access that we, his members, might have confidence that we too shall go where he, our Head an our Source, has preceded us


The Ascension of Jesus Christ through St. Luke's Gospel:
1.Jesus's enthronement as King, and therefore as Messiah
-the resurrected Jesus is the one living in power, "at the right hand of God (Psalm 109:1)."
2. Jesus physical removal is the condition for the gift of the Holy Spirit: Moses has to leave in order for Joshua to work with his prophetic spirit (Deut 34:9). Elijah had to depart in order for Elisha to gain a double portion of his prophetic spirit (2Kings 2:9). So long as Jesus was physically present he was available only to those he directly encounter; by the Holy Spirit and through the Eucharist Jesus becomes present to all.