Today’s Feast of the Ascension of Jesus into heaven is a culmination of the Mel Gibson film, “The Passion of the Christ.”  The film is significant, but gory.  One hundred of the one hundred twenty minute film is about violence.  The film made $600 million.  The film is a part of Lenten Bible Study at my Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, in Newport News, Virginia.

 

Mel Gibson misses the relationship aspect of love.  The Ascension, by leaving the physical presence of Christ in the lives of the Faithful, is ultimately about his love remaining in the hearts of the faithful.  The type of love involved is about maintaining the relationship between the Faithful and Jesus Christ. 

 

The fact that the Faithful can relate to God is a reason for the Antiphon, God mounts his throne to shouts of joy; a blare of trumpets for the Lord (Psalm 47:6).  By reason of inward presence, Jesus is more present in his physical absence.  Physical presence is not as close as living memory.  Funerals make the point.  The dearly departed is, indeed, spiritually present in those mourning their physical loss.

 

 

Readings

First Reading:                    Acts 1:1-11

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (6)

Second Reading:               Ephesians 1:17-23

Alleluia:                             Mathew 28:19a, 20b

Gospel:                             Matthew 28:16-20

 

Annotated Bibliography

Musings above the solid line draw from material below.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some interesting details.

 

Acts 1:1-11

Acts 1:1

Matthew W. Bates, “Cryptic Codes and a Violent King:  A New Proposal for Matthew 11:12 and Luke 16:16-18”[1]

Bates argues that I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught is hyperbole.

 


 

Acts 1:4-5, 8

Paul Elbert, “Acts 2:38 in Light of the Syntax of Imperative-Future Passive and Imperative-Present Participle Combinations”[2]

Through the Holy Spirit means that the Holy Spirit was inspiring the Faithful.

 

Acts 1:8

Charles H. Talbert, review of Jens Börstinghaus, Sturmfahrt und Schiffbruch:  Zur lukanischen  Verwendung eines literarischen Topos in Apostelgeschichte 27,1—28,6[3]

As a testament to you will be my witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth, God legitimates the shipwreck and journey of Paul to Rome.  Börstinghaus sets the context for Acts, Chapters 27 and 28.

 

Acts 1:8

Joshua D. Garroway “`Apostolic Irrestibility’ and the Interrupted Speeches in Acts”[4]

Garroway speculates that Luke chose a plethora of speeches as a testament to be my witnesses . . .  to the ends of the earth.  To balance speeches with narratives, Garroway argues, Luke had to shorten and interrupt the speeches.

 

Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (6)

 

Ephesians 1:17-23

 

Mathew 28:19a, 20b

 

Matthew 28:16-20

Matt 28:16-20

Boris Repschinski, S.J., review of Jason B. Hood, The Messiah, His Brothers, and the Nations (Matthew 1.1-17)[5]

Repschinski is unimpressed.  “H. should have spent more time with his texts and less with secondary literature.”

 

Matthew 28:18-20[6]

Matthew 28:18-20

Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531), “On Baptism, on Rebaptism and Infant Baptism”

From the order of baptizing them . . . teaching them . . . , Zwingli supports infant Baptism.

 

Matthew 28:19

Leonhard Schiemer (d. 1528), “Kunstbuch:  The Twelve Articles of the Christian Faith”

Schiemer disagrees with infant baptism, alluding to the sequence in make disciple of all nations, baptizing them . . . 

 

Matthew 28:18-20

Peter Riedemann (1506-1556), “Confession of Faith”

Riedemann opposes infant baptism, noting that the apostles did not baptize children.

 

Matthew 28:18-20

Frank J. Matera, The Sermon on the Mount:  The Perfect Measure of the Christian Life[7]

Matera makes two basic points.  The first is that Jesus does not reveal the mysteries of God to those who would scorn and mock them.  Jesus, therefore, speaks in parables.  The second point is that once the mystery is recognized, it requires a response.  God himself is setting all of this up.  The Ascension calls for a response.

 

Matthew 28:18-20[8]

William Greenhill (1591-1671), “An Exposition of Ezekiel”

Greenhill argues no one has special privileges in the Church.  Greenhill is a late Revolutionary.  He is concerned about the effect of the Revolt on ecclesiology.  Personal Notes means to watch for a correlation between when Revolutionaries wrote and ecclesiological interest.  John Calvin (1509-1564), who died a year after the Council of Trent ended, will be a key witness.  This will begin in Acts, because Genesis, Ezekiel, Galatians, and Philippians have already been read.

 

John David Ramsey, A Precarious Faith:  The Tri-Une [sic] Dynamic of the Christian Life[9]

Father John David Ramsey is my pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News, Virginia.  From make disciples of all nations, Father John David argues that God extends the original covenant from Israel to everyone.  Personal Notes adds that maintaining the relationship with God is what is left, especially after the Ascension.

 

Matthew 28:19-20

Pilgram Marpeck (c. 1495-1556), “A Clear and Useful Instruction”[10]

Marpeck is more concerned about ceremonies than about Church governance.  Governance will become an issue for later Revolutionaries.  Marpeck is comfortable that God will not leave the Faithful orphans, without protection and without guidance.

 

Matthew 28:19[11]

Those in revolt from the Roman Catholic Church have a problem with predestination.  The problem is predestining some to damnation.  It seems that the Reformation editors try to avoid the problem.

 


 

 

Matthew 28:19[12]

1 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).

So far I have not identified just where the 2011 Missal uses this verse.

 

Matthew 28:20

John Calvin, “Commentary on Acts 1:2”[13]

In accord with someone arriving later to the Revolt, Calvin expresses concern about Church governance.  “Luke means therefore that Jesus did not depart without first having provided for the government of the church whereby we recognize his concern for our salvation.”

 

Matthew 28:20

Fr. Yozefu – B. Ssemakula, The Healing of Families:  How To Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems[14]

Relating to I am with you always, Ssemakula argues that fear negates the presence of God.  If God is present, there is no reason to fear.  Personally, I know that at the substratum of consciousness, I am full of fear.  God help me maintain my relationship.

 

For more on sources see the Appendix file.  A complete set of Personal Notes, dating from the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 14, 2002 to the present, is on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes. 

 

 

 

The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is God mounts his throne to shouts of joy; a blare of trumpets for the Lord (Psalm 47:6).[15]

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the forgiveness of sins, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “gladden us with holy joys.[16]

 

This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with Then come the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? (Haggai 1:3-4).[17]  The relationship with God requires maintenance.[18]

 



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2013) 84.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2013) 95.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (January 2012) 144.

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (October 2012) 740.

 

[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 3 (July 2013) 576.

 

[6] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 31, 148.

 

[7] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2013, 101, 102, 109, 117.

 

[8] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament XII: Ezekiel, Daniel, (ed.) Carl L. Beckwith (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012) 187 Johann Gerhard, 228 William Greenhill, 408 Johann Wigand, 409 Philipp Melanchthon.

 

[9] Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002, 20.

 

[10] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament XI:  Philippians, Colossians, Graham Tomlin (ed.) in collaboration with Gregory B. Graybill, general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2013) 199.

 

[11] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 30 Philipp Melanchthon, 31 Zwingli, 33 “Apology of the Augsburg Confession”, 108 Dirk Philips, 147 Martin Luther, 148 Leonhard Schiemer, 186 “Short Confession (1610)”.

 

[12] Sacred Scripture in the Missal

 

[13] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 5.

 

[14] [no publisher or place of publication is listed] www.healingoffamilies.com, 2012, 124.

 

[15] National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Roman Missal Restored by Decree of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican and Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Lectionary for Mass:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Second Typical Edition:  Volume I:  Sundays, Solemnities, Feasts of the Lord and the Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota:  The Liturgical Press, 1988) 433.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[16] n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011) 432.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[17] UMI Annual Sunday School Lesson Commentary:  Precepts for Living ®: 2013-2014:  International Sunday School Lessons:  Volume 165:  UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), a. Okechuku Ogbonnaya, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), 2013) 455-456.