May 29, 2022 •
Jesus ascended toward the East. This is an important point that sometimes gets overlooked.
Two men in white appear, these are angels. They ask, "Men of Galilee, what are you doing?... This Jesus Who has been taken up from you into Heaven, will return in the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven."
So we know that our Lord was taken up on a cloud toward the East, and when He comes again in glory, He will come on a cloud, from the East.
This is why the Church has maintained the tradition for nearly two thousand years, that when we celebrate Mass, we celebrate toward the East. Ad orientum.
From the earliest time of the Church, whenever they gathered to celebrate Mass, they would all face East together in anticipation of His second coming.
That's why I, here at Saint Dorothy's, celebrate Mass ad orientum. It's why the Church for two thousand years maintained this tradition.
So the question is, why after the Second Vatican council did this ancient tradition get scrapped for the most part? . . .
He will return again in the same way He was taken up. We face East together when we worship God, so that we are ready to receive Him when He comes again. We don't have our backs to Him. It's really a beautiful tradition when you consider it. . . . There is a reason for this tradition in the history of the Church. I do believe wholeheartedly that it will return. . . .
For us as Catholics, the ritual performance of our worship is essential. There's a reason that we do what we do. And even if you're never taught those particular reasons, just practicing them begins to affect you and prepare your body and soul for grace. For your relationship with the Lord.
So I pray on this day, on which we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Ascension, that the Church would once again return to this most holy tradition. That as a people, as a body, we face East together always in anticipation of his coming again in glory.
Acts 1:1-11; Ps 47:2-3, 6-9; Eph 1:17-23; Lk 24:46-53
Homily begins at 20:39