31 May Feast of Ascension
Feast of Ascension
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
The Gospel for this Feast of Ascension is not trying to state the fact in historical terms. Jesus had finished one phase of His life and had to begin another. Jesus’ departure is not the end of His work on earth. It’s simply the end of the first phase of it, the phase that He carried out in a material body, visible to our eyes. Now begins the second phase: the phase that He will carry out in a spiritual body, invisible to our eyes.
The time for inaugurating God’s Kingdom on earth is over. The time for spreading God’s Kingdome across the earth is about to begin. Jesus has completed His work of preparing His followers for their mission of carrying the good news of God’s Kingdom to the four corners of the earth. It is now time to send the Holy Spirit upon them to empower and to guide them in this mission.
Today, we celebrate the fact that over 2,000 year ago, on the day of His ascension, Jesus passed on to us the responsibility of carrying the good news of God’s kingdom to the four corners of the earth. That mission is the work of preaching the Gospel to the poor, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the homeless.
On the day of His ascension, Jesus passed on to us the responsibility of completing the work that He began on earth. He passed on to us the responsibility of completing God’s Kingdom on earth. You and I, in this church today, share this responsibility. Not one of us is exempt.
Like the Apostles, we are not left “high and dry.” Jesus repeatedly invites us to expect the Holy Spirit who will empower us to do even greater things than even He could accomplish. Let us pray fervently this week that the power of Pentecost will fire us up with renewed enthusiasm for God, His Church, and His people!
Next week we will have our Missionary from Rwanda, Africa. I don’t expect you to try and pronounce his name. It is Fr. Pancrace Ekyenserikora from the diocese of Gikongoro. He is presently a student at the Athenaeum of Ohio, Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary working on a Master’s Degree in Theology. I warned him to expect a very warm welcome from our wonderful parish.
I will be visiting my sister in Long View, Washington but know that I will be with you united in the Sprit. COME, HOLY SPIRIT!