Showing posts from April, 2013

Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord - 9 May 2013

The Ascension of Our Lord, 9 May 2013 Acts 1:1-11 Psalm 47    Or Psalm 93 Ephesians 1:15-23 St. Luke 24:44-53                                                                                     Background:  The Feast of the Ascension Celebrated forty days following Easter, this feast actually might be quite ancient.  The first mention of the feast is made in the fifth century, and it is mentioned by St. Augustine as a feast of “apostolic” origin.  Egeria mentions the feast in her writings from the mid-fourth century, and comments on a vigil as well.  She witnessed the ceremonial in Bethlehem.  There is some evidence that this feast was connected either with the Easter Feast itself, or with Pentecost (which would account for the Vigil).  The Council of Elvira (ca. 300 CE) condemned the practice of the feast in that it was being confused with the Pentecost feast. There are customs that are related to the Ascension feast, namely the observ

The Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 5 May 2013

The Sixth Sunday of Easter, 5 May 2013 Acts 16:9-15 Psalm 67 Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5 St. John 14:23-29    Or St. John 5:1-9                                                                                     Background:  The Program in Acts We find the first statement of purpose in the initial verses of Luke (Luke and Acts comprising one work): “ Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received.” Whether or not we know who Theophilus (Lover-of-God) was might be important, but is not necessary.  Perhaps he was a Roman official, a recent convert, or a gentile