After Jesus rose from the dead, how long did he stay here on earth and where did Jesus go when He ascended?
Forty days after Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead, He ascends in triumph to heaven, taking his seat at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50-52, Acts 1:6-11). In doing so, Jesus culminates his one sacrifice of Calvary in everlasting glory, fulfilling the Old Covenant Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur sacrifices (see Leviticus 16). For Jesus takes not the blood of goats and calves but his own, and he enters into the heavenly sanctuary, not one made by human hands (Hebrews 9:11-14). So He is the high priest of heaven (Hebrews. 8:1-3; catechism of the Catholic Church 662-64, 1137-39), and he always lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews. 7:23-25, 9:23-24).
After his Ascension, Jesus’ one sacrifice is made sacramentally present at every Mass according to the order of Melchizedek, under the forms of bread and wine (Genesis 14:18-20, Hebrews 5:7-10, Matthew 26:26-29, Luke 22:19-20; see CCC 1333, 1355, 1544). The importance of the Ascension is further shown when, despite his glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday, Jesus tells Mary Magdalene not to cling to him, because he has not yet ascended to the heavenly Father (John 20:16-17). The weekdays after Jesus’ Ascension is a time of preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
I remember a time, not so long ago, when all the women in church would wear head coverings. Where did this custom come from and why don’t we see it in church today?
The custom and discipline of women wearing head coverings or “mantillas” is rooted in the norm St. Paul prescribed in 1 Corinthians 11:2-6 which says “every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head.
In short, this practice is no longer binding to women. Here’s a little background on the matter. In Canon 1262 section 2 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the Church maintained the Pauline discipline: Men, in a church or outside a church, while they are assisting at sacred rites, shall be bare-headed, unless the approved mores of the people or peculiar circumstances of things determine otherwise; women, however, shall have a covered head and be modestly dressed, especially when they approach the table of the Lord.” However Canon 6 section 1.1 of the 1983 Code abolished the provisions of the 1917 Code. What this means is that any 1917 Canon that was not somehow incorporated into the 1983 Code is no longer in effect. The 1983 Code did not reissue the canon on women’s head coverings, making it clear that women no longer have any canonical obligation to wear a head covering
Prior to Vatican II, in the early 1960s, women in the Church began to participate at Mass without head coverings. By the early to middle 1970s, very few women were wearing head coverings at Mass. While the Church never made a canonical pronouncement, canon law does allow for modification of a custom, provided that the Church permits the modification. In summary, the custom began to change among the faithful, and the Church deemed it prudent to let the former custom naturally pass away. Consequently, the 1983 Code formally abolished the custom of head covering for women because they ceased to be operative for a good number of years. While no longer required, head coverings have always been a matter of culture and piety. Head coverings for women were a way of showing respect and reverence to God and Jesus Christ who is our true Head and Shepherd. This is why it is polite for a man to remove his hat while in church...out of reverence and respect for Christ who is our true Head and Shepherd. The question of whether to wear a head covering is left up to the individual.
If a person doesn't fully pay attention during Mass and receives Communion, is it a mortal sin?
It would depend on why the person wasn't paying attention.
Sometimes we simply have trouble concentrating due to the time of day, how tired we are, what's happening in our lives, etc. Such wandering of attention is not necessarily sinful, let alone a mortal sin.
However, if a person was actually disdainful of the Mass and the sacrifice of the Eucharist, then it would be sinful and could possibly venture into the territory of mortal sin. In such a situation, it's not the simple act of not paying attention that is sinful but rather the disdain for the sacred actions taking place.
Mary’s parents are St. Joachim and St. Anne. What we know about them comes from tradition and from apocryphal writings (writings that are in the style of sacred Scripture but are not believed to have been divinely inspired). The Protoevangelium of James written around A.D. 150 describes them as a wealthy couple who were infertile for many years, leading Joachim to fast for 40 days and nights in hopes of having a child. Mary’s birth was announced by an angel, leading to much rejoicing on the part of Joachim and Anne. The story also explains that Mary was consecrated to the Lord and went to live in the temple at the age of 3.
It’s hard, from our perspective, to know how much of this is historically accurate. It seems fair to say that though some of the story is probably embellished by imagination, there may be elements of truth in it. It’s fairly likely that the names of Joachim and Anne would have been remembered accurately over the years, even if the precise details of their lives were not. As the grandparents of Jesus, St. Joachim and St. Anne have long been honored by both the Eastern Church as well as by Roman Catholics.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph’s father was Jacob (Matthew 1:16). According to the Gospel of Luke, Joseph’s father was Heli (Luke 3:23). Various explanations have been offered as to this discrepancy, but the one that has received the most acceptance is that Jacob and Heli were half-brothers (same mother, different fathers). It is proposed that Heli was married but died before he had any offspring. Jacob then took Heli’s widow in the levirate marriage” (Deuteronomy 25:5-6), and this marriage produced Joseph as offspring. This would make Jacob the biological father of Joseph but Heli would be the legal father.
As for who St. Joseph’s mother was, no account exists in either Scripture or tradition. This is not all that unusual, since under both secular and religious law at the time it was the lineage of the father that was considered of importance and therefore was preserved.
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