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Sunday Soundbites
Sunday Soundbites is a weekly, 90-second radio homily based on the Sunday readings, written and read by Franciscan Father Greg Friedman. Sunday Soundbites is also heard on Catholic radio stations around the country.

Program for Thursday, May 17, 2012
(The Ascension of the Lord)





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Being a missionary is a tough job, especially when your message is rejected. Hello, I’m Father Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for the Feast of the Ascension.

As a child I was very interested in the stories told by and about missionaries who took the Gospel to other lands. I tried to put myself in their shoes, learning a different language, adjusting to different foods and climate, and most of all facing hostility to the Gospel message.

In today’s liturgy, we hear a Gospel selection that echoes those same concerns. It comes from the so-called “alternate ending” of Mark’s Gospel, namely verses 9 through 20 of Chapter 16. Scripture scholars believe this section, while still inspired, comes from a different hand than the rest of Mark’s Gospel. These verses deal not so much with the story of Jesus’ resurrection appearances or ascension, but with the acceptance or rejection of the message preached by Jesus’ first followers.

In today’s passage, Jesus commissions the eleven apostles to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” The messengers had to be credible, and so Jesus promises that those who hear and believe the message will exhibit wondrous signs.

Today, we also look for signs of Christ’s presence in communities where the Gospel is preached. The lives of believers should exhibit the power of Christ at work, through their justice, harmony and charity. Let’s allow today’s Scripture to affirm us in our witness to the presence of Christ.

I’m Father Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for St. Anthony Messenger Press, on the web at FranciscanRadio.org.

Meet Father Greg Friedman
Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M. Franciscan Father Greg Friedman is the former creative director of the Media Productions Team at Franciscan Media, and former host of American Catholic Radio. During his years at St. Anthony Messenger Press/Franciscan Media, Father Greg wrote and directed Assisi Pilgrimage: Walking in Faith with Francis and Clare, which appeared on ABC-TV stations nationwide, and received a 2008 Telly Award for Excellence. He also produced the popular faith-formation series Catholic Update Video, used in parishes around the U.S. For four years he served as pastor of St. Francis Seraph Parish, located in the inner-city neighborhood of "Over-the-Rhine" in Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently, Father Greg is stationed at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C.
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