We come to the feast of the Ascension, when Christ returns to be seated at the right hand of his heavenly Father. There follows a tense time, the apostles are scared, unsure of themselves in a “What happens now?” state. Sometimes we are like that. After an experience of the love of God, often expressed through the love of others, we can be left wanting more or perhaps the experience has left us with a higher threshold for satisfaction than before. This is a good and bad state to be in. The yearning for the experience of a connection with the source of all love and mercy is wonderful but the desire for more and more of it is about gratification rather than the need to be thankful. The heart of Christian spirituality is Eucharistia, thanksgiving for the graces of God in our lives not a constant desire to consume more and more of this extraordinary gift of love.
So the apostles wait as we do too for the gift of the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to send us his Holy Spirit, the same Spirit he received from his Father. It is through this Spirit that we are united with the Holy Trinity and become the Church, the mystical presence of Christ on the earth expressed through our faith in action. Pentecost next week might well in this way of thinking be considered the feast of mercy made manifest in our humanity as God’s Holy People who continue the mission of Christ to reveal the totality of God’s unfathomable mercy.
Please pray especially this week for our First Holy Communion children who received the sacrament this Saturday and for our Confirmation Candidates who will be confirmed by Bishop Tom Curry next Saturday. May they be faithful to their baptismal vocation and be instruments of God’s mercy throughout their lives.
God bless you, your families, and the week ahead.
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ