PODCAST – Sunday Readings

PDF Handout – Gospel Text (English/Spanish)

This handout which can be downloaded, printed, and used in your ministry is provided by Bishop David O’Connell (Los Angeles Archdiocese)

Click to access Solemnity-Of-The-Ascension-Of-The-Lord-Year-B-May-16-2021-EngSp.pdf


Sunday Catholic Homilies

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Bearing Fruit

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf


The command to love through the power of the Holy Spirit God’s love knows no bounds! It cannot be reduced to a particular race, tribe, people or nation. In effect “God does not have favourites, but…anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him”. To concretise these words of Peter, God through the Holy Spirit descended on all the listeners. This entails he Holy Spirit is at work in the life of men and even beyond the borders of the Church. Saint Peter being convinced of this truth engages the Church in dialogue with a pagan family, that of the centurion of the Roman Army.

God is love; he does not make distinctions among his Children. Knowing that he loves us freely, we must love one another equally without any condition; in other words, our love must extend to our enemies. To love is to remain faithful to the commands of the father by achieving the mission of Christ. To love is not just a simple choice, it is a “command”. Jesus is quite specific: This is my commandment, that you love one another. Here He is not talking in generalities. The idea behind the word “command” is more precisely a firm insistence. Jesus wants us to focus on the deepest truth of himself, without which we are in fairyland. An epistle of John makes precisely this point in relation to God: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. As with God, so with Jesus. The word “command” can at first sight seem so unsatisfactory, it may be hard to find a better word.

Genuine love for Jesus will make us ready and willing to deny ourselves and undertake any difficult mission or task with joy; we are even ready to lose our reputation, risk our lives and die for his cause as the martyrs and the saints have done. Without obedience our love is pretension and without love obedience is mere slavery. Without the Holy Spirit it would be impossible to continue in love and obedience to the truth in a world that is under the power of the father of lies. Therefore the lord promises to send us the supernatural counsellor, the spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth.

Jesus” love is so intense for us that he will not leave us as orphans. The Holy Spirit will continue teaching and guiding us in the way of love. Jesus lays down his live for us so that we can be able to do the same to our brothers and sisters who need us. The challenge is to live lovingly. Where do we begin? In the gospel passage, Jesus invites us to abide in his love, that is, to spend time with him, to hang around, to soak in his love, to bathe in it – and to let his love transform us: helping us to see, and to energise and empower us to change, to grow and to love maturely – as friends. Let us ask God for the grace to become aware of the presence of the Holy Ghost in our lives and to be open to his guidance so that our life can become meaningful and joyful, full of love to our neighbours without distinction.

Cardinal Tagle

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Scott Hahn

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St. Paul Center (2014)

John Michael Talbot

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Venerable Fulton Sheen

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Father James Kubicki

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Sunday Catholic Homilies

Catholic Homilies

LITURGICAL PLANNING: In some countries the Feast of the Ascension is moved from the traditional Thursday to the following Sunday: The church in Australia; parts of Europe; Ireland; Canada and the United States EXCEPT for BostonHartfordNew YorkNewarkOmaha, and Philadelphia.


Fr. Vincent Hawkswell |

For 40 days after his resurrection, Jesus “presented himself alive” to his apostles “by many convincing proofs,” the First Reading says. In fact, said St. Leo the Great, Pope from 440 to 461, they were so “strengthened by the clearness of the truth” that his ascension did not sadden them, but actually filled them with joy.

We should all rejoice today, for at Christ’s ascension a human man, one of us, “went up above the angels’ ranks,” said Pope Leo, and “sat down at the right hand of God,” as we hear in the Gospel Reading.(2021)

Click on title to read entire homily.


Fr. Austin Fleming |

NOTE that the archdiocese of boston does not move the ascension to this sunday, but rather celebrates  the SEVENTH Sunday of Easter.

Mission Impossible! Perhaps you remember the TV show or the movie of this title but even if you don’t, you know what it refers to an impossible task set before us, or one that appears to be impossible. Jesus missions his friends in the gospel today and he missions us, too. I want to show you how he does that….

Take a look around the church and take a guess at what might be the average age of the adults here.

These are questions facing parishes across the United States and it’s our task to discover what we need to do to share our faith and the gospel more compellingly and with greater conviction. These realities, these numbers, put a keen edge on Jesus’ words in today’s gospel where he “sends us into the world with a word of truth.”

Our world is Concord and its environs. We might like to think that “the missions” exist only across the seas, on other continents and in the third world but more and more we find that we’re living in mission territory, right here at home…… (2015)

Click on title to read entire homily.


Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr |

In the Solemnity of the Ascension we celebrate the return of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father. But what hope does this bring to us? And what does that mean for our life today?

I like the manner Marks puts it

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.

The story does not end with the ascending of Jesus into heaven, it continues with the disciples who carry on the mission. However, they are not alone –the Lord is with them. How can we then talk about the departure?

Indeed, we speak of departure when refer to Ascension, and yet, it’s not that Jesus becomes absent, for he continues to be present but in a different way. In fact, with the Ascension a new page opens in the history of salvation; henceforth, it’s the disciples who carry on the proclamation of the Good News. And it’s our mission today. But what’s the content of such mission? (2018)

Fr. Chama’s homily is divided into the following sections:

  • A human person has a place before God.
  • Humanity elevated
Click on title to read entire homily.


Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino |

In some of the rural communities of our countries, ministers and their congregations take this passage literally.  As a test of faith some will plunge their hands into a box of rattlesnakes, pull one out and hold it in front of the congregation.  Others will drink strychnine poison.  Some will survive.  Some will be bitten by the rattlers.  Some will die from the poison.  Now these simple rural communities view the survivors as positive examples of the faith of the entire community.  They view those who are bit by the snakes or who die from the poison as examples of the weakness of the community’s faith.

 They are incorrect in interpreting Jesus’ words literally.  He doesn’t want us to challenge him to heal us, nor does he want us to put ourselves in unnecessary peril.  But they are correct in recognizing that faith in Jesus gives them the ability to conquer the evils of the world. And their communities are right when they credit success to the Lord and see failure as a result of their lack of faith.(2021)

More Homilies for this Sunday by Msgr. Pellegrino

Preach and live Jesus Christ (2018)
Continue preaching the Gospel (2009)

Click on title to read entire homily.


Fr. George Smiga |

There is more than one ascension.  If we examine the history of our faith and our own experience, we can identify multiple ascensions.  Thus it is appropriate on this Feast of the Ascension to ask ourselves what these numerous ascensions might mean.  The ascension which marks today’s feast is the great ascension, the one that is described in the Scriptures.  There after his death Jesus is taken up into heaven and sits at God’s right hand.  This great ascension is Jesus’ final victory, when he leaves behind all of the pain and imperfections of this life and enters into glory.

The good news for you and me is that just as Jesus had a great ascension, one is promised to us.  For we believe that we who are faithful to Christ after our death will ascend into the embrace of a loving God to be with Christ forever.  So the good news of the great ascension is that our life is moving upward, that despite all the pains and troubles of life, we are not ultimately descending, but ascending, that you and I are bound for glory. (2003)

More Homilies for this Sunday by Fr. Smiga

The garbage and the flowers (2018)
Passing a milestone in America (2012)
Signs of the Kingdom (2006)

Click on title to read entire homily.


Jamie Waters |

Note that this reflection is for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, NOT ASCENSION

In today’s Gospel, Jesus offers a prayer just before he is arrested. While the Synoptic Gospels record the agony in the garden, when Jesus’ followers fall asleep as he prays not to be crucified, John has a different tradition regarding Jesus’ final moments with the disciples. In John, Jesus prays primarily for his followers, not himself. Within the prayer, we are given important information about how Jesus understands their future work…

As we near the end of the Easter season, today’s Gospel is a reminder to be confident in faith, knowing that God is present in the world. Jesus’ final prayer offers instructions for the continued proclamation of the good news while imploring the disciples to be confident that Jesus has assured their care. As we continue to spread the Gospel today, even when confronted with hatred and animosity, we too can be assured of God’s love and protection. (2021)

Click on title to read entire REFLECTION.


Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ |

Note that this reflection is for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, NOT ASCENSION

As Christians, we are sent into the world as Christ was sent. We are an incarnate people. In terms of our civil societies, we are a people of inculturation. Our faith lives in and through the cultures we inhabit. Herein lies the splendid diversity of all the ways our faith is celebrated. The one mantle of baptism is arrayed resplendent in Leeds, Galway, Nairobi, Santa Fe, or Seoul.

But the Incarnation is also about realities beyond this world and its ways. It is a testimony to truths that extend further than the reach of the earth or any culture. This is why the world will hate the bearer of Christianity. Or at least it should.

Inculturation is not the same as “acculturation.” To become acculturated is to capitulate to the wisdom, myths, and reality of a culture. It reduces the faith to a mere function of ethnicity or ideology, a mere handmaiden of revolution or capitalism. Faith must always resist acculturation, or it will have nothing to say to the world or to the culture. Acculturation tames faith; it makes it a lap dog for pop, rap, or politics……(1997)

Click on title to read entire homily.

Word on Fire

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by Bishop Robert Barron . June 2, 2019 .

On this seventh and final Sunday of the Easter season, I want to bring to a close my meditation on the extraordinary book of Revelation. With the disclosure of the heavenly Jerusalem, the Biblical narrative effectively comes to a close—and that’s true. But what we find today, in the very…


by Bishop Robert Barron . May 20, 2012 . 0 Comments

Jesus was the meeting of heaven and earth. His Ascension returned him to God in order to reign as the world’s new king, and his orders to the disciples to build his church were to be done with his leadership and assistance. And this is our mission – much like that of the disciples – finding what it is that Christ wants us to do to continue to build his church.


by Bishop Robert Barron . May 24, 2009 .

The Ascension of the Lord empowers the Church to fulfill its messianic mission: to gather the nations of the world into a relationship with the God of Israel.


by Bishop Robert Barron . May 23, 2004 .

The feast of the Ascension is meant to awaken hope. In Jesus, risen from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, our lowly human nature participates in the very life of God. In the light of the ascension, therefore, we are permitted to hope for a way of being, elevated and perfected beyond our imagining.

Priests for Life

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The Ascension is a powerful feast on which to preach the sanctity of human life, because at its core, this feast is about our human nature being exalted to the heights of heaven. Jesus prayed on the night before he died, “Father, give me the glory I had with you before the world began.” How is the glory he has in the Ascension different from the glory he had “before the world began?”

It differs only in that now, he has it in a human nature. Our humanity has been taken to the heights of heaven, fulfilling the destiny God intended for human life from the beginning. Revelation 3:21 declares, “To the one who gains the victory, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne.” God’s plan for us is not just that we will gather around the throne or fall down before the throne, but that we will sit with him on the throne!

This hope extended to the human family by the Gospel is directly contradicted when the same human beings destined for the heights of heaven are thrown in the garbage by abortion.

The human nature Jesus brings to glory in the Ascension is the same human nature you and I share, and the same human nature that the babies in the womb share. Celebrating the Ascension in daily life means treating each human life as one destined to sit with Christ on his throne.

General Intercessions

Celebrant: Our hope is in our risen Lord. Confident that God will hear our prayers, we place our needs before the Lord.


That the Church may give witness to the Risen Lord and call all non-believers to conversion, we pray to the Lord.

That the pope, bishops, and all clergy may be effective witnesses of the Lord risen and ascended, we pray to the Lord.

That the nation’s leaders will be mindful of the needs of the diverse people they are called to govern and serve, we pray to the Lord.

That the Ascension may increase our awareness of the dignity of every human life, created to share life forever in the heights of heaven, we pray to the Lord.

That those who are in need of hope be inspired by the Ascension of our Lord and trust firmly that God offers them eternal happiness and the means to obtain it, we pray to the Lord.

That the members of our parish and families who have died may share in the joys of eternal life, we pray to the Lord.


God of glory, as we commemorate this day when your Son Jesus was exalted in great triumph, hear our petitions and send us your Spirit of truth. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Related Homilies website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

Feast of Christian responsibility

Al Carino
Since His Spirit is now with us and in the world, we live not only with hope but also with strength. Thus we must stand confident that with Him we can live according to the teachings and deeds of Jesus and build His Kingdom on earth.

That they may be one just as we are one.

Frank Enderle
We Catholics are the spiritual descendents of the first disciples that Christ chose, prepared and strengthened. With this in mind, we should meditate on the importance that prayer had for them and how much we need it. Today especially, we should pray for the unity of the Christian community.

Something to Proclaim

Antonio P. Pueyo
How can we be effective communicators of the good news? I propose that we pay attention to the following elements: a)the message must be worth sending, b)the communicator-sender must be convinced and enthusiastic about the message, c)the medium must be appropriate and effective, d) the receivers must be clearly identified, e)the time, place, and situation must be taken into account.

The Power of the Holy Spirit Enlivens the Church

Jeremiah R. Grosse
While it is true that the Church grew by leaps and bounds, being one of the Twelve was not easy. These men were dragged before the Sanhedrin on a regular basis, imprisoned, beaten, and, aside from St. John, all were eventually killed. Tradition teaches us that St. Peter felt that he was unworthy of being crucified as Jesus was, so he was crucified upside down. St. James the Great was killed in Jerusalem, and the others were killed elsewhere.

The “All Ready and Not Yet” Tension

Jeremiah R. Grosse
These eleven men were living in the tension of the’already but not yet’. They had spent three years traveling with Jesus from Capernaum to Jerusalem. They were all locked in the Upper Room after Jesus’ crucifixion and had seen Him again after He had risen from the dead. They heard the story from Cleopas how he had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus and how Jesus had opened the Scriptures to him and how Cleopas and his companion had come to know that it was Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

I Count on You

Antonio P. Pueyo
We are proud of the Filipino boxer, Manny Paquiao. The President of the Philippines has appointed him ambassador of peace after his latest boxing victory. The Christian disciple is also an ambassador. Your appointment as ambassador comes from a higher source. It is Christ who appoints you. Live in a manner worthy of your call. website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.


Catholic Climate Covenant

Christian Care for Creation

Laudato Si

“Homily helps and liturgy resources highlighting care for our common home.”

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