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In High School, I had a friend I aspired to be like – not because of popularity status or looks, but because she seemed to know something about the Bible I didn’t. The pages of hers were worn from devotion while mine collected dust. And, there was an ease in which she opened Scripture, to the perfect spot, whenever she needed consolation. It was unnerving, to me. The Bible had always been this large intimidating book with undefined locations and confusing history – yet, I desired to know the Word of God intimately. What was I doing wrong?

With only a “Vacation Bible School catechesis” of Scripture, I found myself struggling to make any sense of this beautifully daunting book. And, it wasn’t until many years later that the Word started to come to life at Mass. I realized Scripture wasn’t so much a textbook as it was a love story. That the lector proclaiming the Word of God at the ambo wasn’t teaching me about the random histories of the ancient Israelites, but rather about God’s never-ending attempt to win us back. To fight for us, even until death.

Yet, like any subject learned in school, Scripture takes time and study; connections and understanding don’t always come naturally. I realized slowly, (and a little bit begrudgingly), that I couldn’t pick the Bible up as I would pick up my favorite novel and read straight through, understanding everything on the way. I needed guidance and, most of all, patience. I needed Ascend.

What is Ascend?

Ascend is Life Teen’s newest resource that walks any reader through the Sunday Mass readings (from the first Sunday in Advent all the way through Christ the King). Ascend provides clarity to the readings by overviewing important connections, word definitions, background information, and challenges the reader to reflect on the readings through prayer, journaling, and action. Ascend successfully educates and empowers us to be fully readyto receive the Word of God at Mass on Sunday.