Ascension of the Lord June 5th, 2011 Year A

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“God goes up
with shouts of joy
The Lord goes up
with trumpet blast”.

Dear Parishioners,

With their Lord’s ascension, the disciples had a decision to make: would they continue to proclaim the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, or would the story stop with them? The crucifixion of the One in whom they had put their hope had been devastating. Yet now, the risen Lord appeared before them, laying out the appropriate actions for apostles (those sent), so that the next stage of Jesus’ mission might be accomplished.

We know that the apostles succeeded in this task, for we also have become witnesses to Christ Jesus. Called by God and formed in the Holy Spirit, we are a people who proclaim Jesus’ victory over death. The Spirit, principle of unity, makes us witnesses to this one faith. Amazingly, the Spirit’s diverse gifts to individuals do not compete with each other, but bind the community together in peace.

This requires every effort on our part, however, since we are not always humble, gentle or patient with each other. Nor do we always bear with one another in love.

We give thanks, then, for today’s new opportunity to give thanks for God’s faithful love for humanity and for the presence of Jesus with us always in the Eucharist. Sent forth as apostles, we eagerly tell others that the promise of salvation has been fulfilled.

As it is found in the prayer of Jesus…

“I will remain in the world no longer,
but I am coming to you.
Because Jesus is glorified and lifted up to God,
because he is ascended into heaven,
he is able to be with us now.
Because he has been sanctified, he can sanctify us.
His prayer for us is heard.

We need not look up and wonder where he is,
for by his going, he is able to come.
What we are to do is to open ourselves to the Spirit,
and go out into the world, and do what we are to do,
knowing that God will protect us—and bring us safe to his side
when our work and witness is done.”