11 May THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
The Feast of the Ascension is treated as a totally separate event. However, it should be treated as an integral part of Easter itself. I remember as a child that at the end of the Gospel, the Easter Candle would be blown out and the priest would point out the smoke as being a sign of Jesus rising up to heaven. Now we acknowledge the fact that Easter does not end until Evening Prayer of Pentecost (next Sunday). Resurrection and Ascension are separated in order to contemplate the meaning of two aspects of a single, indivisible event.
On this Feast of the Ascension, we remember that Christ’s ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain (CCC #665). This Feast reminds us that like the first disciples, we are not to dally “looking up at the sky,” but are to get busy proclaiming the glory of God’s kingdom by the virtues of our lives.
This Feast does not celebrate the end of Jesus’ presence in the world. It celebrates a change in the way Jesus is present in the world. Jesus is no longer present in the world through his human body in a physical way. He is now present through his mystical body in a spiritual way. He is present through the Church. Jesus is now present through us, his followers.
Jesus no longer acts by using his own human voice to address people, his own human heart to love people, and human hands to reach out to people. Rather he acts through us, you and me. He uses our voice to address people, our heart to love people, and our hands to reach out to people.
Tomorrow, Bishop McElroy will be here to confirm a number of our teenagers. May these young people take the Gifts of the Spirit and use them very generously for leadership in God’s family! Next Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost. Pray fervently that God will continue to bless our Community with His Mighty Power and Love! May God bless, preserve and keep us in His Love!