Ascension of the Lord, Year B

We have two homilies by Father Hanly for Ascension of the Lord, Year B. We have a recording and transcript for each homily.

Two Homilies:

 
Ascension of the Lord

Ascension of the Lord

In his homily for Ascension of the Lord, Year B, Father Hanly tells us that the Risen Lord is with us – and we are his hands and we are his feet and we are his voice, and we, when we forgive each other and love each other and care for each other and reach out to each other, we are continuing the mission of Jesus in the world. This homily was delivered before the Commissioning of the Ministers of the Word.

Readings

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23
Gospel: Mark 16:15-20

Recording

Transcript

You’re all probably wondering why there’s a very long procession today with twenty extra people. They all look familiar to those who come here a lot. We have with us today all the English language readers of the parish, from both sides of the parish: from St Margaret’s, of course, and from, I always forget the name of that chapel, Christ the King chapel. It’s because I call it the St Paul’s Hospital chapel. But it isn’t. It’s Christ the King chapel. And for those of you who have never been there, you should go there, because it’s the most beautiful church in all Hong Kong.

Anyhow, they’re gathered here today. They come once a year and it’s because they belong to a special ministry, the Ministry of the Word. And this ministry invites all those who would like to participate in the church’s liturgy here by becoming a Minister of the Word.

It means that these young people, and all those young men and women, they are all reading the scriptures during all the liturgies, not only mass and the sacraments, but also in the paraliturgies all through the year.

They are coming to be commissioned. Each year we commission them and we make an installation of the ministers, which means that they will continue to follow this ministry as faithful servers in the Kingdom of God.

Today’s gospel, I suppose, I will only mention one little story that comes from, I just I read it before I came over here, because we are going to have the installation right away.

But the story goes that Jesus goes up to heaven and he meets Gabriel the angel.

And Gabriel says, “What are you doing up here?”

And he said, “Well, I came back a little early.”

And Gabriel said, “Why?”

“Well,” he said, “they crucified me.”

And then Gabriel says to him, “That means that your mission failed.”

And he said, “No,” he said, “I entrusted my disciples to carry on the mission for me.”

And then Gabriel, being a little cynical, says, “Suppose they fail?”

And Jesus looks and he says, “I’ve got no other plans.”

So, today, we are going to commission, in one way, and draw attention to the fact that the gospel is now preached not by Jesus, not by the Holy Spirit, not by anyone but human beings like you and I who dedicate themselves to become instruments of the Holy Spirit, and instruments of the Word of God, and instruments of the healing and salvation of mankind.

The unfortunate thing about the Resurrection is most people feel that when Jesus goes up there, he stays there.

But we Christians know that Jesus has never really left us.

If the person of Jesus that the disciples grew to know so well enters into eternal life and glory, the coming of the Holy Spirit wakens them up on Pentecost to know that the Risen Lord is with us.

And we are his hands and we are his feet and we are his voice. And we, when we forgive each other and love each other and care for each other and reach out to each other, we are continuing the mission of Jesus in the world.

And now, I think, we’ll begin the commissioning and the installation of the Ministers of the Word.

The installation has just a few parts. It begins with a short allocutio. This is the portrait of the Minister of the Word written by Aelred Rosser who has turned out, through his many years of service, many, many, many, many Ministers of the Word throughout the world.

That is followed by a prayer. And then there’s the presentation of the sacred textbook which we have this time in English and in Chinese, the Word of God in English and Chinese, and we present them to each minister individually. And then we finish with a Prayer of the Faithful which is directed towards today, directed towards the spread of the Word of God throughout the world.

So we’ll begin by asking all of our ministers here today to rise and…


 
The Ascension of the Lord

The Ascension of the Lord

In his homily for The Ascension of the Lord, Year B, Father Hanly reminds us that now we are Jesus’s hands, and we are his feet, and we are his voice when we go out into the world.

Readings

First Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23
Gospel: Mark 16:15-20

Recording

Transcript

As you know, our people who are going to be commissioned today come from both sides of our parish. We have Christ the King, who are usually in the most beautiful chapel in Hong Kong, really, over there in St Paul’s hospital, behind the hospital, and we welcome them. And then, of course, we have our own St Margaret’s, and we welcome them as well.

We are gathered here today, once a year, because they belong to a very special ministry. Our men and women belong to the Ministry of the Word. And this ministry is very important. It is extremely important for the liturgy, all the masses and the para liturgies that we have in the parish. They are well trained, they are very industrious, and they have been serving this parish, some for a long time and some just for a few short months. And today we welcome them all.

Today, we are going to commission, in one way, and draw attention to the fact that the gospel is now preached not by Jesus, of course, and not by the Holy Spirit, and not by any ordinary human beings like ourselves, but they are specially singled out and trained for their ministry and they dedicate themselves to become instruments of the Holy Spirit, and instruments of the word of God, and instruments of healing, and instruments of salvation for all mankind.

This is a very high office in the church, and we pray for them that they will put it into practice with great zeal, with deep understanding, and with all the hard work that goes into becoming a preacher of the word.

It is unfortunate about the Resurrection that most people feel that when Jesus goes up into the sky and we see him no more, he stays there.

But we Christians know that Jesus has never really left us.

If the person of Jesus that the disciples grew to know so well enters into eternal life and glory, the coming of the Holy Spirit awakens them on Pentecost to know that the Risen Lord is with us.

He promised us, “I will be with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

And when God promises he keeps his promises.

And so it is that Jesus the Risen Lord dwells among us and he has come to stay.

This has a very deep meaning for our readers and lectors, as well as for each and every one of us, because Jesus is silent, Jesus is quiet, Jesus is with us, but Jesus is heard, Jesus is worshipped, Jesus is loved, and we are the instruments of making this possible.

For we are his hands and we are his feet and we are his voice when we go out into the world.

And when we forgive each other and love each other and care for each other and reach out to each other, it is we who continue the mission of Jesus in the world.

And he indeed is with us. It is he who gives us the power, it is he who calls upon us, it is he who welcomes us to be his hands.

St Teresa of Avila has a very popular and a very nice saying that sums this all up when she writes:

“Christ has no body. Christ has no body now on this Earth but yours, no hands but yours. Your eyes are the eyes by which he looks upon the world with compassion. Yours are the feet by which he walks about doing good. Yours are the hands by which he blesses us now. All are yours, yours and yours.”

This is a great gift to all of us.

Sometimes we somehow feel that we just have to do good here and then we go up to Heaven and Jesus will welcome us and he will say to us, “Oh, come into my Father’s house.”

Sometimes we think that all we have to do is just fulfil the basic things of being a good person, a careful person, one who listens to the scriptures, tries to put into practice the things that Jesus has taught us.

But it’s one step further.

You, you are the ones who spread the word that he died for.

And he died on a cross that the world might know that God Himself has sent him. And He sends him with a message and the message is very simple: “All is forgiven.”

And who is to bring this message?

You and I. We are to say to the world, “All is forgiven. All is forgiven.”

It’s as simple as that.

All is forgiven and there is only his love. These are the two basic truths that we live by.

Is this important?

It is. Because if you do not forgive, Jesus does not come out of a box and forgive. Jesus is not running around making up for our failure. We are the ones now, we are the ones. It is his words and his feelings and his love and his caring that we are the instruments of.

And so, today, on this very special day, there is only one thing that all of us do as we commission these teachers, these people who will do the readings from the sacred scriptures, only one thing: learn to forgive and learn to love.

And then you, too, are one with Jesus, going through the whole world making life possible, making joy possible, making love possible, but most of all making us true disciples to walk with Jesus, who we worship but who we call our brother, and one with God, who we worship but call our Father, and finally one with ourselves, that we have meaning and purpose and value and know that we are here not for ourselves, we are here, as Jesus was, we are men and women sent, men and women sent for others.

And now we will begin this special very special blessing of our readers, because, each Sunday when they read to us, we must remember that it is Jesus’s heart that we hear, Jesus’s love that we hear, and we are his instruments.

And now we invite our readers to come forward to form a line before the altar …

FAQ for Homily for Ascension of the Lord, Year B

WHEN IS Ascension of the Lord, Year B, IN 2021?16th May 2021
What is the next homily by Father Hanly in this Liturgical Cycle?
Pentecost, Year B
WHO WAS FATHER HANLY?FATHER DENIS J. HANLY WAS A MARYKNOLL MISSIONARY
HOW CAN WE FIND OTHER HOMILIES BY FATHER HANLY?BY LITURGICAL CALENDAR OR BY TOPIC OR BY TITLE

Information about Father Hanly’s homilies for Ascension of the Lord, Year B

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If you would like to use our transcripts of either of these sermons (updated 2019), please contact us for permission.

Father Hanly's sermon for Ascension of the Lord, Year B, "Ascension of the Lord" was delivered on 24th May 2009. Father Hanly's sermon for Ascension of the Lord, Year B, "The Ascension of the Lord" was delivered on 20th May 2012. It is sometimes hard to accurately transcribe Father Hanly's reflections, so please let us know if you think we have made a mistake in any of our transcripts, and let us have your suggestions.

We hope that Father Hanly’s homilies, always kind, always wise, always full of love, will restore you to peace and harmony through a new understanding of what is important in this world. We believe these homilies are inspiring for everyone, not only for Roman Catholics or other Christians.

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