Daytime Prayer
The Ascension




TERCE


Deus in adjutorium meum intende,
Domine ad adjuvandum me festina

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One,
have mercy on us.
Agios o Theos, Agios Ischyros, Agios Athanatos,
Eleison imas.

Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortális,
miserére nobis.




Ant. Oh, God, your majesty is praised above the heavens.
Reading
When I saw the Son of Man, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, 'Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive for ever and ever; and I have the keys of Death and of Hades. - Revelation 1:17-18

Responsory
Do not let you heart be troubled, alleluia
- I am going to the father, alleluia


The Lord opened their minds, alleluia.
- That they might understand the Scriptures, alleluia.


FIRST READING          Ephesians 4:1-24

He ascended to heaven and led captivity captive
I plead with you, as a prisoner for the Lord, to live a life worthy of the calling you have received, with perfect humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another lovingly. Make every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force. There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is but one hope given all of you by your call. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and works through all, and is in all.
Each of us has received God's favor in the measure in which Christ bestows it. Thus you find Scripture saying:
"When he ascended on high, he took a host of captives and gave gifts to men."
"He ascended" - what does this mean but that he had first descended into the lower regions of the earth? He who descended is the very one who ascended high above the heavens, that he might fill all men with his gifts. It is he who gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in roles of service for the faithful to build up the body of Christ, till we become one in faith and in the knowledge of God's Son, and form that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature.  
Let us, then, be children no longer, tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine that originates in human trickery and skill in proposing error. Rather, let us profess the truth in love and grow to the full maturity of Christ the head. Through him the whole body grows, and with the proper functioning of the members joined firmly together by each supporting ligament, builds itself up in love.
I declare and solemnly attest in the Lord that you must no longer live as the pagans do - their minds empty, their understanding darkened. They are estranged from a life in God because of their ignorance and their resistance; without remorse they have abandoned themselves to lust and the indulgence of every sort of lewd conduct.
That is not what you learned when you learned Christ! I am supposing, of course, that he has been preached and taught to you in accord with the truth that is in Jesus: namely, that you must lay aside your former way of life and the old self which deteriorates through illusion and desire, and acquire a fresh, spiritual way of thinking. You must put on that new man created in God's image, whose justice and holiness are born of truth


RESPONSORY           Eph 4:8 (Ps 68:19); Ps 47:6
When Christ ascended on high,
he led captivity captive,
 - he gave gifts to men, alleluia.
God ascends to shouts of joy,
the Lord to the blasts of trumpets.
 - He gave gifts to men, alleluia.


Collect
Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

SEXT

Deus in adjutorium meum intende,
Domine ad adjuvandum me festina

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One,
have mercy on us.
Agios o Theos, Agios Ischyros, Agios Athanatos,
Eleison imas.

Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortális,
miserére nobis.

Ant. From the heights of heaven he goes forth and to those heights he returns, alleluia
Reading
We have a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. - Hebrews 8:1b-3a
Responsory
The Lord in heaven has prepared a royal throne, alleluia
- Christ has ascended on high, alleluia
From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Sermo de Ascensione Domini, Mai 98, 1-2: PLS 2, 494-495)
No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven
Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. Listen to the words of the Apostle: If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. For just as he remained with us even after his ascension, so we too are already in heaven with him, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies.
Christ is now exalted above the heavens, but he still suffers on earth all the pain that we, the members of his body, have to bear. He showed this when he cried out from above: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? and when he said: I was hungry and you gave me food.
Why do we on earth not strive to find rest with him in heaven even now, through the faith, hope and love that unites us to him? While in heaven he is also with us; and we while on earth are with him. He is here with us by his divinity, his power and his love. We cannot be in heaven, as he is on earth, by divinity, but in him, we can be there by love.
He did not leave heaven when he came down to us; nor did he withdraw from us when he went up again into heaven. The fact that he was in heaven even while he was on earth is borne out by his own statement: No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.
These words are explained by our oneness with Christ, for he is our head and we are his body. No one ascended into heaven except Christ because we also are Christ: he is the Son of Man by his union with us, and we by our union with him are the sons of God. So the Apostle says: Just as the human body, which has many members, is a unity, because all the different members make one body, so is it also with Christ. He too has many members, but one body.
Out of compassion for us he descended from heaven, and although he ascended alone, we also ascend, because we are in him by grace. Thus, no one but Christ descended and no one but Christ ascended; not because there is no distinction between the head and the body, but because the body as a unity cannot be separated from the head.


RESPONSORY            Acts 1:3, 9, 4
During the forty days after his passion,
he appeared to them and spoke with them about the kingdom of God.
 - As they watched, he was lifted up,
and a cloud took him from their sight, alleluia.
While he was with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem,
but to wait there for the fulfillment of the Father's promise.
 - As they watched, he was lifted up,
and a cloud took him from their sight, alleluia.


Collect
Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

NONE

Deus in adjutorium meum intende,
Domine ad adjuvandum me festina

Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One,
have mercy on us.
Agios o Theos, Agios Ischyros, Agios Athanatos,
Eleison imas.

Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortális,
miserére nobis.

Ant. Raising his hands, he blessed them and was lifted up to heaven, alleluia.
Reading
If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. - Colossians 3:1-2
Responsory
Give glory to the King of kings, alleluia
- Sing praise to God, alleluia

A meditation of Blessed John Henry Newman
(Sermon 18, Mysteries in Religion)

What has been now said about the Ascension of our Lord comes to this; that we are in a world of mystery, with one bright Light before us, sufficient for our proceeding forward through all difficulties. Take away this Light, and we are utterly wretched—we know not where we are, how we are sustained, what will become of us, and of all that is dear to us, what we are to believe, and why we are in being. But with it we have all and abound.

Not to mention the duty and wisdom of implicit faith in the love of Him who made and redeemed us, what is nobler, what is more elevating and transporting, than the generosity of heart which risks everything on God's word, dares the powers of evil to their worst efforts, and repels the illusions of sense and the artifices of reason, by confidence in the Truth of Him who has ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high?

What infinite mercy it is in Him, that He allows sinners such as we are, the privilege of acting the part of heroes rather than of penitents? Who are we that we should be able and have opportunity to offer so willingly after this sort? Blessed, surely thrice blessed, are they who have not seen, and yet have believed! We will not wish for sight; we will enjoy our privilege; we will triumph in the leave given us to go forward, not knowing whither we go, knowing that this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. It is enough that our Redeemer liveth; that He has been on earth and will come again. On Him we venture our all; we can bear thankfully to put ourselves into His hands, our interests present and eternal, and the interests of all we love. Christ has died, yea rather is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from His love? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors, through Him that loved us.

Collect
Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.




 
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