Ascension 2017 - Liturgical Prayers

Solemnity of the ASCENSION of the Lord

A. Absent, Yet Present
B. I Go; Now I Send You

Readings:
Acts 1:1-11; Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Eph 1:17-23; Mt 28:16-20

Greeting

    Be my witnesses to the ends of the earth,
    says the Lord.
    Know that I am with you always,
    till the end of time.
    May the Lord Jesus be always with you
    R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant


     A. Absent, Yet Present
    Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension: the Lord Jesus returns to the glory of the Father. There is an apparent contradiction in this leaving of Jesus:
    while leaving, he assures us that he is staying with us. These are his last words in Matthew's gospel, just as Matthew had assured us in his first chapter that Jesus is our God-with-us. Jesus' going to heaven is really no farewell: He was God-with-us in his life on earth, close to people, especially the poor and the weak. He is now with us, but in another way, through his Spirit, in the Church, for we are his body, in the signs of bread and wine, wherever people meet in his name, as we are doing at this moment, in the poor and the weak of our day too. Our prayer today is: Stay with us, Lord.
    B. I Go; Now I Send You    This day of the Lord's Ascension is for us a feast of joy for we celebrate the Lord Jesus in his glory. He had to leave this earth so as not to be any longer the privileged companion of just a small group of apostles and disciples. Once he was glorified in heaven, he would belong to everyone willing to accept him as their Lord. From now on we, his people, have to be his shape and face, his heartbeat, his helping hand, his smile, his strength that often looks powerless. Don't be afraid: He has promised to be with us until the end of time, as he is here with us now in this eucharist.Penitential Act    Jesus has given us a task to do.
    Let us ask forgiveness
    that we have not measured up to his expectations
    and not relied on his presence.
    (PAUSE)

    Lord Jesus, you lived among people
    and have gone away to the Father's glory.
    You will return,
    for your love is without end:

    Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
    Jesus Christ, you still live among us
    through your Spirit of strength and love,
    for your love is without end:
    Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

    Lord Jesus, we do not see you,
    but you have given us people
    and a mission of truth and goodness,
    for your love is without end:
    Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

    Have mercy on us, Lord,
    forgive us our sadness and our sins.
    Help us to seek the will of the Father
    and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.


Opening Prayer    Let us pray
    that the Spirit of the risen Lord
    may guide us
    (PAUSE)
    God our Father,
    our risen Lord Jesus Christ
    lives now in your presence.
    When we keep looking for him in the clouds,
    make us turn to the task
    he has given us to do here on earth
    and learn to recognize his face
    in our brothers and sisters.
    And when we are too attached to this earth,
    remind us that in your own good time
    you will complete Jesus' works in us
    and take us to your joy and glory
    for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the WordFirst Reading Introduction: Why Are You Looking into the Sky?At his ascension, Jesus entrusts his work to the apostles. The Holy Spirit will give them the strength to bear witness to Christ the Lord to the whole world.

Second Reading Introduction: Christ Went Ahead of Us to HeavenChrist saved us once and for all and he leads us into the sanctuary of heaven. This is our firm hope.

Gospel Introduction: Jesus Leaves Us A MissionJesus is gone physically, but he has left us a task: to bring his message of Good News to all. He stays with us in this mission.General IntercessionsJesus our Risen Lord, lives for ever to pray for us and with us to the Father. Through him, let us pray then for the needs of the Church and of the world. Let us say: R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
    - For the leaders and members of the Church, that they may accept and carry out their mission to live the Good News and to proclaim it to all peoples and cultures, let us pray: R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
    - For people who stare to heaven and hope in God's help, that their prayers may be heard: but that they also look to people and commit themselves to them in goodness and compassion, let us pray: R/
Lord, your kingdom come.
    - For those engaged in social action, that they may work untiringly to bring genuine justice even to the least in a spirit of reconciliation and love, let us pray: R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
    - For the dying, that they may join Jesus our Lord into the home of the Father and share in his glory, Let us pray: R/ Lord, your kingdom come.
    - For our Chritian communities, that Christ may be alive among us and give us his Spirit to build up and confirm one another in hope and a spirit of service, let us pray: R/ Lord, your kingdom come.

    God of hope and life, you have not abandoned your Son in death but given him life and glory. In you we trust through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts

    God our Father,
    here in these signs of bread and wine
    your Son Jesus keeps his promise
    to be with us always, even to the end of time.
    May he live and grow in us,
    and animate us by the power of the Holy Spirit
    to be his body to the world
    and to make disciples of all nations.
    Let Jesus bring our prayer before you
    and hear us, for he lives with you for ever. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic PrayerLet us with joy give thanks to the Father that Jesus, though raised up to heaven, is still with us through his Holy Spirit here in this eucharist, in the Church, and in the people around us.

Invitation to the Lord's Prayer    The Lord Jesus is now living
    in the glory of the Father in heaven;
    there he pleads for us.
    Through him, and in his words,
    we pray to God.
    R/ Our Father...


Deliver Us
    Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
    and give us always the peace and joy
    of your presence among us.
    Keep us free from doubt and discouragement
    and let your Son walk by our side
    that, together with him,
    we may build up among us
    his new world of friendship and hope,
    and so prepare the coming in glory
    of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ . R/ For the kingdom...


Invitation to Communion    This is the Lord who said:
    Know that I am with you always
    until the end of time.
    This is his risen and glorious body.
    Happy are we that he is our bread
    on our journey to the Father.
    R/ Lord, I am not worthy...


Prayer after Communion    Lord our God,
    we thank you for trusting us so much
    that you have entrusted to us
    the very mission of your Son,
    to be his presence to the world.
    May we reign with him
    by learning from him to serve,
    May people see that Christ is alive
    because we are his body to the world.
    We ask you this through Christ our Lord . R/ Amen.


Blessing    The Lord Jesus tells us,
    as he told the apostles:
    "Be my witnesses to the whole world."
    Let us not just stare at heaven
    but be his message of hope to people on earth
    by the way we live his gospel.
    And let us ask for God's blessing.
    May we bring the Lord's message
    to our time and to our people. R/ Amen.

    May he go about doing good through us
    and may we make him visible today. R/ Amen.

    May he stay with us through his Spirit
    now and till the end of time. R/ Amen.

    And may almighty God bless you all,
    the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

    Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
    in the people around you. R/ Thanks be to God.