Theophilus, and the Rest of the Story

(Solemnity of The Ascension-Year B; this homily given on May 16, 2021 at the Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome, Italy; See Acts of the Apostles 1: 1-11, Ephesians 4: 1-13 and Mark 16:15-20)

One of the first things ‘learn in our education in the Christian faith’ — ‘ a ‘children’ or ‘adult’ converts—is the list of the “four evangelists. »All of us here this morning kno’ cause the four great gospel authors are: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  This morning, for the Solemnity of The Ascension, ’cause I hear from’ cause of them.    

St. Mark concludes his Gospel account this morning, the event of the Ascension of our Lord into heaven.  Jesus is taken before them, just as he sends them out to process the Gospel message to the ends of the earth.  

For St. Luke this morning, it is different.  He doesn’t end, but begins the Acts of the Apostles, that same remarkable event.  The Ascension concluded his first volume:

« In the first book, Theophilus, I dealtin’ all that Jesus did and learned until the day heamilas taken up”

– Acts 1:1.2

Theophilus is Theophilus?  If you don’t know this person, you literally mean “lover of God. »St. Luke, therefore, can be aamovriting to you or to me, and certainly he is.  Theophilus.  That « first book » he is referring to is the Gospel of St. Luke.  The Ascension, The Ascension, « taken up, » there is not so much a conclusion as a transition.  St. Luke has every intention of continuing his story, but the Ascension marks a break in the account, and a NE} beginning.

This morning is the culmination of the Great Pascal Mystery of Jesus Christ.  The Son of God, the ‘son of God’ reigns eternally, the father and the Holy Spirit descended into the ‘nation’ of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  He descended into our human nature to save us from sin and eternal separation from God.  Jesus Christ been born into poverty in Bethlehem and hevagalked the streets of Nazareth, Galilee and Jerusalem proclaiming the Good in the laws of the Gospel to the poor and the broken.  He healed the sick and raised the dead.  In His human nature He could suffer, and he did suffer for you and for me.  They were crucified and died and he descended into the women.  Three days later, he ‘raised from the dead’, and today ‘celebrate his ascension into heaven’ is seated at the right hand of the Father in glory.

That ‘ s volume one of St. Luke’s great story, His Gospel.  

No if’t start.  Are you ready?

The great French spiritual author Jean-Pierre deCaussade, in his 18th century classic, Abandonment to Divine Providence, reflects about hoemouth God reveals Himself in temouth complementary.  First and foremost, he reveals Himself in Sacred script, in the universe of God and especially in the Gospels.  Let’s find there, in these sacred pages, the great teachings of our faith and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit leading us to eternal life.  Nonetheless, rsquo, deCaussade, those are simply a religion drops in the ocean of time.  

St. John the Evangelist, at the culmination of his Gospel, says something similar.  Heabulites:

There are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

– John 21:25

A. God has made knouml; about us in Sacred script is preeminent, sufficient, inspired and amazing.  Nonetheless, it is a drop in the ocean of time’now consider all the people God has touched and all of those to’namhom God has revealed Himself.  DeCaussade, « The hellip; a God is full of mysteries, and equally so is His.”  The first book has already beenoxidized; the first is still experiencing the second.

In our second reading for the Solemnity, St. The Ascension of our Lord and the effect that has on the history of the Church.  He says:

But grace give to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Therefore, it says: He ascended on high and took captive prisoners; he gave gifts to men.

Ephesians 4: 8

This is our story, most excellent Theophilus!  Jesus Christ has ascended and sits at the right hand of the Father in glory and majesty; He has captured the hearts of all andicopants deeply to pour out his gifts on the Church that he died for.  All of us have received the gift of the Holy Spirit at our baptism.  Godpointers to give us a weonline outpouring of the gifts ofpoinisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, kno₂opledge, piety and fear of the Lord.  Give some specific mission in our vocation, something that God has entered usemouth and that has not been given to anyone else.  On this Solemnity of The Ascension, do you really believe that God is a saint in our hearts, in our time and place today?  Jean-Pierre deCassaude:

« Give, if you are holy, are the paper; our suffering and our actions are the ink.  The rsquo; the book of the Holy Spirit is the pen of the Holy Spirit, and the ‘ It ‘ is a living gospel; but it’n’t be read until the last day of glory’now it leaves the printing press of this life.”

We need faith to live that Gospel, no different from the faith necessary to understand and surrender our lives to God in the teachings of Holy Scripture.  Today ‘ ask for faith to knoquo that God is continuing to tell the greatest story in and through us, and for the grace to cooperate fully in that living gospel.