Sisters and Brothers,
This Sunday the Church celebrates the Feast of the Ascension. It commemorates the day when Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and no longer physically appeared to the disciples after his resurrection. This is a day of celebration rather than grieving because the church affirms that the dawning of God's kingdom has begun. And from the right hand of the Father, Jesus, caring for each of us, now intercedes on our behalf.
While it might be a bit scary to think that we've been abandoned, Jesus promises that we shall not be left alone. We shall not be orphans. But, rather, the Holy Spirit shall come to us to dwell within, around and through us. So the Ascension in effect becomes necessary in order for God to be fully present "in" us.... close to us... as close as our next breath.
Keeping this important teaching in mind, I'd like to ask you to join me in something. I'm asking us all to join in on a mini, 11 day, Spiritual revival. The Anglican Communion has begun asking the faithful to earnestly pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit each day between the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost.
This year, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has asked Pope Francis to invite the Roman Catholic Church to join in, and the Pope has agreed to do so. (You can find a video of the Pope's message by following the link below.)
So I'd like to ask you to be intentional in your prayer time for the next 11 days. Ask God to give us (as a parish and us as individuals) a fuller measure of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Let's ask for God to move among us, within us, and through us. Let's pray that our hearts might burn with divine love and that we may be attuned to the movement of the Spirit. Let us pray that those who have been shunned or rejected for any reason may find shelter and a safe haven with us.
May the Holy Spirit enable us, and the whole Church to be an example of the Good News demonstrated in the life and teachings of Jesus.
To read more, click here: https://conta.cc/2QBF4PD