Today is Ascension Thursday AND a National Day of Prayer

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…while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight. ~ Acts 1:9

We celebrate Ascension Thursday today…which is the day that Jesus ascended into heaven, 40 days after Easter. We celebrate this feast not so much for the historical event but for its theological significance. Jesus was lifted up to Heaven to make us sharers in his divinity.

On the day of His ascension, Jesus sent His Apostles back to Jerusalem to pray for nine days that they might be ready to receive the Holy Spirit. This in fact was the first Novena instituted by Christ himself! 

We too can follow Jesus’ command and recite the Novena to the Holy Spirit. (which starts tomorrow so we finish on Pentecost Sunday) so we too might be ready to receive the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday.

The National Day of Prayer is observed annually on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress. In 1775 the Continental Congress allocated a time for prayer in forming a new nation. Over the years, there have been calls for a day of prayer, including from President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. On April 17, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States. President Reagan amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer.

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Now more than ever we need to pray for our country. Many are concerned about the upcoming elections. This link for CatholicVote.com gives some much needed perspective. We encourage every voter to read this. Our brilliant founders understood that Congress is the key.

 

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