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Feast of The Ascension of The Lord
"The observance of this feast is of great antiquity. Although no documentary evidence of it exists prior to the beginning of the fifth century, St. Augustine says that it is of Apostolic origin, and he speaks of it in a way that shows it was the universal observance of the Church long before his time." [New Advent]

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Through the Cross, Jesus Christ brought an end in himself to the hostility which divides people and keeps them apart.

The Gospel for Sunday, May 28, 2006
Ascension of the Lord
Mark: 16, 15-20

"Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation" (Mk 16:15). Such is the mandate that the Risen Christ, before returning to his Father, gave to his Apostles: "And they went forth and preached everywhere" (Mk 16:20).

"The task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church ... Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize". Born of the evangelizing mission of Jesus and the Twelve, she is in turn sent forth. "Depositary of the Good News to be proclaimed ... having been sent and evangelized, the Church herself sends out evangelizers. She puts on their lips the saving Word". Like the Apostle to the Gentiles, the Church can say: "I preach the Gospel ... For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!" (1 Cor 9:16).

The Church proclaims the Good News of Christ not only by the proclamation of the Word which she has received from the Lord, but also by the witness of life, thanks to which Christ's disciples bear witness to the faith, hope and love which dwell in them (cf. 1 Pet 2:15).

This testimony which the Christian bears to Christ and the Gospel can lead even to the supreme sacrifice: martyrdom (cf. Mk 8:35). For the Church and the Christian proclaim the One who is "a sign of contradiction" (cf. Lk 2:34). They preach "Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles" (1 Cor 1:23)�

�The purpose of evangelization is "transforming humanity from within and making it new". In and through the Only Son the relations of people with God, one another and all creation will be renewed. For this reason the proclamation of the Gospel can contribute to the interior transformation of all people of good will whose hearts are open to the Holy Spirit's action�

�It is therefore essential that "the new evangelization should be centered on a transforming encounter with the living person of Christ". "The first proclamation ought to bring about this overwhelming and exhilarating experience of Jesus Christ who calls each one to follow him in an adventure of faith�

�For the full success of this mission, it must be ensured that "in evangelization prayer to the Holy Spirit will be stressed for a continuing Pentecost, where Mary, as at the first Pentecost, will have her place". The power of the Holy Spirit guides the Church into all truth (cf. Jn 16:13), enabling her to go into the world in order to bear witness to Christ with confident resolve.

The Word that comes from the mouth of God is living and active, and never returns to him in vain (cf. Is 55:11; Heb 4:12-13). We must therefore proclaim that Word tirelessly, exhorting "in season and out of season ... unfailing in patience and in teaching" (2 Tim 4:2). Entrusted first of all to the Church, the written Word of God is not "a matter of one's own interpretation" (2 Pet 1:20), but is to be authentically interpreted by the Church�

�The challenge of dialogue is fundamentally the challenge of transforming relationships between individuals, nations and peoples in religious, political, economic, social and cultural life. It is the challenge of Christ's love for all people, a love that the disciple must reproduce in his own life: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35).

"Evangelization continues the dialogue of God with humanity and reaches its apex in the person of Jesus Christ". Through the Cross he brought an end in himself to the hostility which divides people and keeps them apart (cf. Eph 2:16). 

May 22, 2006

Excerpted from POPE JOHN PAUL'S ECCLESIA IN AFRICA, 14 September, 1995.

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05.22.06   Godspy says:
Through the Cross, Jesus Christ brought an end in himself to the hostility which divides people and keeps them apart.&nbsp;

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