This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Ascension. Jesus the Christ leaves his earthly sojourn as Emmanuel, the God who lives with us in person, to return to his heavenly throne at the right hand of the Father in glory. He goes but not before he had promised us a gift, the Holy Spirit of Truth; God’s Spirit. But the apostles are still scared, they still have not understood the Easter message of “Do not be afraid”. We too have to work on our belief and trust in that message. We also have to be people of the promise of the Holy Spirit, open to where the spirit blows.
This parallels being people of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is established by the death and rising of Christ but it is not fully realized in our earthly reality (that’s why we pray about it in the Our Father, “thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”). The Kingdom is a promised reality but not fully here yet. It’s a bit like waiting for a train on the platform of a station. You hear the train’s whistle and see it approaching and someone says, “the train’s here” but it isn’t parked in the station yet. This week is like that, we are betwixt and between; people of the promise, of the Kingdom, but still unsure like the apostles because the promise is still to be fulfilled and the Kingdom to be fully realized. But the Promise and Kingdom have to be realized through the action of the Spirit of truth and justice, of mercy and compassion, working in and through us. We are the instruments of the Holy Spirit and the subjects of the Kingdom. Let us fulfill that promise and keep building that Kingdom. Have you noticed that the opposite of scared is sacred!!
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter