Happy Feast of the Ascension!

We recall this great feast of Ascension every Sunday as we recite the Nicene Creed, saying, “He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” It speaks of our belief in a past event, what Jesus did, returning to His Father in Heaven. We then continue, “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” This tells of a future moment, and what Jesus will do when he returns at the end of time.

So what about now? We live in the in-between…the present, a time when, as Bishop Barron has described, the ascended Lord has been heightened to command his troops, instructing us to do the work of the Church, to do what He did and say what He said. And so we pray, “Command me, Lord, what do you want?”

As Dcn. Dave and I were chatting earlier this week, he shared a story that, while never positively confirmed, nonetheless succinctly illustrates the command the Lord gives us: During World War II, some American soldiers became very attached to the people in a small Italian town. In the town plaza, a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus had been destroyed from bombing. The soldiers tried to put the statue together for the people. When they got everything together, they noticed that the hands and feet were missing…statue parts that were crumbled beyond repair. When they were finished, one of the soldiers stayed behind and put a sign on the statue. The sign read: “You are My hands and feet.”

St. Teresa of Avila wrote a similar message: “Christ has no body now on earth but yours No hands but yours, No feet but yours Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.”

And now, as our dispensation ends, we are being called back as a community of believers …to regroup; to be sent out again; to be refreshed and recharged; to be his hands and feet in new and even more powerful ways. The Lord is knocking; he’s inviting us to more, to open wider the doors of our hearts, to draw closer to him, and to join him on mission. The Lord is longing to equip and heal us…and He sends the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. It’s a good reason to celebrate…and we will do just that next weekend!

Please join us Pentecost weekend as we celebrate not only this great Solemnity but also our “Welcome Back.” We have some special festivities planned. Bishop Boyea has sent a candle and prayer card for each parish family. Be sure to pick up your gift bag under the tent next Sunday. Bishop invites us to be the Lord’s “hands and feet” as we take a candle to a fellow parishioner who hasn’t returned yet (or can’t return yet). To add to our Welcome Back celebration, the Knights will be providing pancakes and a selection of toppings; copies of the June Magnificat will be available while they last; and a number of other “welcome back” treats will be out along the walkway between the rectory and church. We look forward to reuniting with those we haven’t seen lately and simply joining together in fellowship.

That evening, join us for “Praise & Prayer,” led by Fr. Brian, who will be accompanied by the Encounter band and prayer teams (from our Hope & Healing Prayer Ministry). We will call on the Holy Spirit to heal us and fill us to do His work!

The Lord is ascended… and we await Pentecost with excitement!

Shayne Slough

Director of Parish Life