5. READINGS FOR THE DAY

Scroll down for the readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

The readings for the Solemnity of the Ascension

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

(Acts 1: 1-11 NRSV)

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Psalm

If you are by yourself, you might like to pray slowly through the whole of this psalm.

If there is more than one of you, you might enjoy praying the abbreviated version with the response as given below.

Psalm 46(47) NRSV

           Clap your hands, all you peoples;
                        shout to God with loud songs of joy.
            For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome,
                        a great king over all the earth.
            He subdued peoples under us,
                        and nations under our feet.
            He chose our heritage for us,
                        the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah
 
               God has gone up with a shout,
                        the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
            Sing praises to God, sing praises;
                        sing praises to our King, sing praises.
            For God is the king of all the earth;
                        sing praises with a psalm.
 
               God is king over the nations;
                        God sits on his holy throne.
            The princes of the peoples gather
                        as the people of the God of Abraham.
            For the shields of the earth belong to God;
                        he is highly exalted.


Responsorial version:

Psalm 46(47):2-3, 6-9 NRSV

Response: God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast. Alleluia!

Clap your hands, all you peoples;
                        shout to God with loud songs of joy.
            For the LORD, the Most High, is awesome,
                        a great king over all the earth.

Response: God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast. Alleluia!

        God has gone up with a shout,
                        the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
            Sing praises to God, sing praises;
                        sing praises to our King, sing praises.

Response: God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast. Alleluia!

              For God is the king of all the earth;
                        sing praises with a psalm.
               God is king over the nations;
                        God sits on his holy throne.

Response: God goes up with shouts of joy; the Lord goes up with trumpet blast. Alleluia!


A reading from the Letter to the Ephesians

Ephesians 1: 17-23 NRSV

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.


Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

(Acts 1: 12-14 NRSV)

After Jesus was taken up into heaven the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

If you are by yourself, you might like to pray slowly through the whole of this psalm.

If there is more than one of you, you might enjoy praying the abbreviated version with the response as given below.

Psalm 26(27) NRSV

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
                        whom shall I fear?
            The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
                        of whom shall I be afraid?
 
               When evildoers assail me
                        to devour my flesh—
            my adversaries and foes—
                        they shall stumble and fall.
 
               Though an army encamp against me,
                        my heart shall not fear;
            though war rise up against me,
                        yet I will be confident.
 
               One thing I asked of the LORD,
                        that will I seek after:
            to live in the house of the LORD
                        all the days of my life,
            to behold the beauty of the LORD,
                        and to inquire in his temple.
 
               For he will hide me in his shelter
                        in the day of trouble;
            he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
                        he will set me high on a rock.
 
               Now my head is lifted up
                        above my enemies all around me,
            and I will offer in his tent
                        sacrifices with shouts of joy;
            I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
 
               Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
                        be gracious to me and answer me!
            “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
                        Your face, LORD, do I seek.
                        Do not hide your face from me.

            Do not turn your servant away in anger,
                        you who have been my help.
            Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
                        O God of my salvation!
            If my father and mother forsake me,
                        the LORD will take me up.
 
               Teach me your way, O LORD,
                        and lead me on a level path
                        because of my enemies.
            Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
                        for false witnesses have risen against me,
                        and they are breathing out violence.
 
               I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD
                        in the land of the living.
            Wait for the LORD;
                        be strong, and let your heart take courage;
                        wait for the LORD!


Responsorial version:

Psalm 26(27):1, 4, 7-8 NRSV

Response: I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Alleluia!

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
                        whom shall I fear?
            The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
                        of whom shall I be afraid?

Response: I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Alleluia!

               One thing I asked of the LORD,
                        that will I seek after:
            to live in the house of the LORD
                        all the days of my life,
            to behold the beauty of the LORD,
                        and to inquire in his temple.

Response: I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Alleluia!

         Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
                        be gracious to me and answer me!
            “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
                        Your face, LORD, do I seek.
                        Do not hide your face from me.

Response: I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living. Alleluia!


A reading from the first Letter of Peter

1 Peter 4:13-16 NRSV

You, however, rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker. Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.

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