From the Pastor’s Desk

My Dear Parishioners,

Six weeks ago we celebrated the Resurrection of the Lord. For the past six weeks, we have listened to stories of the Risen Lord and have walked with the risen Lord. This week we will celebrate Jesus’ Ascension into heaven. Jesus’ Ascension marks the end of his earthly life. However, we never walk alone. Jesus continues to be present to us in all times and all places by the power of the  Holy Spirit. Jesus also is present to us through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Jesus gives us the gift of himself, body, blood, soul and divinity that we might grow in faith and holiness of life.

The disciples having been with the risen Lord all this time didn’t want Jesus to leave them understandably at this time. They were afraid, and they had had no idea what they would do next. But Jesus told them; Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. It was time for him to return to the Father. He assured them, The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything. They would never be alone.

A few days later, he ascended in their sight. For the next nine days they prayed, and on the feast of Pentecost, their prayers were answered. The Holy Spirit descended upon them with tongues of fire. Filled with the same Spirit, they went out and preached the good news of Christ’s resurrection. In that moment, a confused gathering of ordinary, faithful disciples, who had little if any formal education, became the Church. And the world was never the same.

We are the Church, quite likely as average as the first disciples of Jesus, and, without him, every bit as confused. We, at times, deny him as Peter did. We, at times, doubt him as Thomas did. We, at times might wish him to rain fire on our enemies, as James and John did. We, at times, panic at the first sign of trouble, as all the Apostles did.

How does Jesus respond? He loves us, and he never abandons us. We are each “the beloved Disciple” in his eyes, and he fills us with the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Filled with this grace, the Church has gone around the world, bringing billions of people to the light of Christ. This is the most amazing accomplishment in human history, and it began with a few courageous people who took the risk and followed Jesus. It continues today. The Spirit is among us and goes forth with us.

Let us like the Apostles, pray for the Holy Spirit to come upon each of us as Jesus promised. Let us pray that the Holy Spirit who dwells in the Church will fill our lives with the graces needed so that we may proclaim the gospel message to all we meet.

All the Blessings of the Risen Lord,
Msgr. Maresca