Readings for this day:
Psalm 47:2–3, 6–7, 8–9 (Rx 6 or Alleluia)
Ephesians 1:17–23 or 4:1–13 or 4:1–7, 11–13
Today’s gospel passage was not Mark’s original ending. That may have been lost, or the evangelist may have indeed intended to end at verse 8 with the disciples fleeing the empty tomb in fear and remaining forever silent. But what kind of “evangelization” is that? So this “longer ending,” written by someone other than Mark, has been canonical since the Council of Trent.
We hear Christ’s spectacular declaration that his believers will drive out demons, speak new languages, pick up serpents, and drink in poison with no harm as a sign of the power of his name. No one should preach or read this literally. How then do we approach our liturgical task of interpreting the assembly’s lives through this text?
As we begin the traditional nine-day vigil toward Pentecost, what demons and serpents in our world need the Spirit’s driving wind? We who have been given the Holy Spirit have the power in Jesus’s name to dispel the demons of racism, to speak the language of mercy in the foreign land of hatred, to tear away the serpents of gossip and slander that choke human dignity, and to swallow our sinful pride to save ourselves from temptation. So let’s stop looking up at the sky and get going to be the signs of God’s power over death in the world.
God Mounts His Throne
Kate Williams and Scott Williams
G-9811 · SATB, cantor, assembly, piano, guitar, C instrument, trumpet (B-flat and C)
“God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.”
What does the mounting of God on his throne mean for each of us? God has won a victory over sin and death and is now reigning over the kingdom. When we are baptized, we are also baptized into a share of this kingdom and we are joined with Christ’s death and resurrection. It is fitting then that this piece was written in celebration of the baptism of the composers’ daughter. Throughout the Easter season, we celebrate this resurrection and are reminded of our baptisms when we renew our baptismal promises. Give praise for the hope of the resurrection. Give praise for those that have been baptized into our Christian family. Give praise for God mounting his throne and reigning in glory!
– Victoria Zibell
More suggestions for Ascension…
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! / Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (HYFRYDOL) Arr. Tony Alonso • SAB, assembly, piano, guitar • G-9451
Go Out In the World Ed Bolduc • SATB, solo, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar • 008212
God Mounts His Throne: Psalm 47 Edward Eicker • SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard • 006456
He Is Risen! Chrysogonus Waddell, text by Cecil Alexander • SATB, assembly, descant, organ• 002318
O Clap Your Hands Stephen Lay • SATB, keyboard, trumpet in B-flat • 009461
Open Wide the Doors / Abre Bien las Puertas John Angotti and Larry Dorsch • SATB, solo, assembly, keyboard, guitar • 008103
Our God Has Gone Up John Gaffney • SATB, organ • G-9040
Partners in the Mission (BEAMS OF LOVE) Peter Fisher Hesed • SAB, descant, assembly, keyboard, opt. violin or C instrument • 008825
Sing We Triumphant Hymns of Praise / Jesus Is Risen! Let Us Sing! Steven Van Wye • SATB, organ • G-9375