May 8, 2016 – Seventh Sunday of Easter

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Something’s coming. Rather, Someone! Celebrating this Feast of the Ascension
can be a powerful reminder that the Holy Spirit is God’s promise fulfilled in Jesus;
to be with us “to the end of time.” To infinity..…and beyond (thanks Buzz
Lightyear). When it comes to Jesus, the Church and our faith, this is a lifelong
mission of building hope, cultivating joy, and being a sign and sacrament of God’s
reconciling presence in the world. The first reading points toward Pentecost, the
birthday of the Church, when the apostles, women and children are gathered and
the Holy Spirit empowers them (AND US!) with the gifts that will be needed for
spreading the good news! Up until this moment, this community is in mourning,
perhaps paralyzed by confusion, fear and anxiety about what is to become of them now
that their leader, their rabbi, their friend and brother, Jesus, is dead.

Aha, but that’s the point. Jesus lives! ALLELUIA, LOVE IS ALIVE (Sarah Hart,
Steve Angrisano, Jesse Manibusan, OCP)

Jesus lives. In us, through us, and with us. Sound familiar? The Feast of the
Ascension is the celebration that the mission continues. What a blessing, a
privilege, an honor, AND GREAT RESPONSIBILITY to share this with our Lord and
each other.

Yes, the apostles are still asking questions and still seem to need answers from Jesus about this whole mystery thing, “Where are You going?” “Can we go too?” “Why not?”, but
I’m thinking our Lord simply reassures them to continue serving, sacrificing, blessing,
encouraging and advocating for the poor, the vulnerable and outcast. To love the unloved,
welcome the unwelcome and invite the uninvited.

The Responsorial Psalm, the Second Reading and the Gospel all point to the glory, the greatness and the majesty of God. Lots of blaring trumpets, thrones, praising and singing! We’re giving God props. God is our source of life! And nothing and no one can stand against the power that God wields. And that power is awesome and mighty. And that power is mercy and compassion.And that power is patient, understanding, hopeful and forgiving.

That is who Jesus is, was and will be forever. And that’s who we’re called to be. We live, die and rise in Jesus. The Holy Spirit empowers us with gifts to serve. To be missionary disciples, living in the mission of Jesus and the Church! And Jesus even says to Philip and Andrew, “When I leave, you will do greater things!” Lord have mercy! Jesus has a lot of faith in them and in us. Not because we’re the smartest or holiest tool in the shed, but rather because the Holy Spirit is upon us!

Happy Feast Day!

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