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Sunday, May 8, 2016

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Ascension of the Lord
Pentecost Novena - Day 3

Acts 1:1-11
Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:19-23 or
Ephesians 1:17-23
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9

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blessed are you

"As He blessed, He left them, and was taken up to heaven." —Luke 24:51

Jesus ascended in "mid-blessing." The apostles responded by "blessing God" (Lk 24:53, our transl). These are the final words of Luke's Gospel. The last word for Luke is that the ascended Christ is blessing us for which we are blessing Him. "When He ascended on high, He...gave gifts to men" (Eph 4:8; see Ps 68:19) "that He might fill all men with His gifts" (Eph 4:10). When Jesus ascended, He fulfilled the prophecy: "From this day, I will bless!" (Hg 2:19) Therefore, "bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless His holy name" (Ps 103:1).

To receive the blessings of the ascended Christ, let us together devote ourselves to constant prayer (Acts 1:14). Let us fervently pray the first of all novenas, the Pentecost novena. Jesus will bless us with the Holy Spirit of blessing. "Within a few days" we will be renewed in the power of the Spirit (Acts 1:5). Blessed are those who worship the ascended Christ and pray for a new Pentecost. Blessed are those "baptized with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:5). In the ascended Christ, be blessed, "be a blessing" (Gn 12:2), and "bless the Lord at all times" (Ps 34:2).

Prayer:  Father, bless me beyond anything I can imagine.

Promise:  "May He enlighten your innermost vision that you may know the great hope to which He has called you, the wealth of His glorious heritage to be distributed among the members of the Church, and the immeasurable scope of His power in us who believe." —Eph 1:18-19

Praise:  Praise the ascended and risen Lord Jesus, King of all heaven and earth! Alleluia!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015

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