The feast of the Ascension seems to be more about the apostles going out than Jesus going up!

Dear Visitors and Parishioners,

June 2, 2019

The feast of the Ascension seems to be more about the apostles going out than Jesus going up! As Jesus goes to his Father, the message is to take over the gospel now, and to be witnesses to him. We are to share what we have received, speak of what we have seen and heard.

Each of us is called into the ministry of Jesus in some way. We are called to be 'other Christs', to be people who wish to make known and spread the love of God and his care for his people in the world. We may never know how much we have done this; it is sufficient that we do what we can. God has some work to do that can be done only through each person.

Our mission is to change that. St. Paul puts it beautifully  in today's letter to the Ephesians: "Live in a manner worthy of the calling you have received ..”

The final departure of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit gave new strength and energy to the disciples. And now to us, from heaven the Lord continues his work on earth through us.

We are assured that he hasn't ever stopped being present with us throughout all time. The mysterious feast of the Ascension reminds us that Christ accepts our lack of self-confidence in ourselves, fear, and  our unworthiness.

And having accepted us, he calls us, gives us the eternal commission to be his people, and sends us to serve him and love him, in spite of ourselves and because of ourselves. John Henry Cardinal Newman said it well long ago:

"He calls us again and again, in order to justify us again and again and again and again, and more and more, to sanctify and glorify us. It was well if we understood this; but we are slow to master the great truth, that Christ is, as it were, walking among us, and by his hand, or eye, or voice, bidding us follow him. “

Let's get going and carry a piece of heaven into the world. This is the meaning of the Resurrection and the Ascension of our Lord, not one of divine abandonment of the human cause, but divine empowerment of the Gospel dream!

-Fr. Peter Damian, O.P.