Preparing for Pentecost
Happy SummerFest weekend everyone! I hope you had or are having a fun time at SummerFest. So many wonderful people coming together not to just have fun but also to support our great school. A big THANK YOU to all of our volunteers who made this event possible and so very special!
Today we also celebrate a great event, the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord. Some 40 days ago we celebrated the greatest Feast on the liturgical calendar, the Resurrection of the Lord, Easter. And in a few days, we will celebrate another powerful feast day, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost. God’s very presence will descend from heaven and set the church on fire to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in our words and actions. All of our great Feast days point to one reality, God is always with us and God always loves us unconditionally!
The Apostles of Jesus journeyed with Him for three years. They witnessed the spectacular miracles and provoking parables. They also witnessed the resentments, ridicule and sufferings. Remember they had just witnessed his torturous death and his glorious Resurrection. Over time they too came to know this one reality, that God is always with us and God always loves us! Over those three years their lives had become a roller-coaster of giant proportions. In many ways this is the paradigm of the Christian believer; from wonderful moments of consolation, to the drought of desolation. And at the same time always knowing that there will be a glorious Resurrection to come, if we just keep the faith.
Such is the life of discipleship we live even today. We are a people living in a kingdom established here on earth, and not yet part of its fullness found in the next life. How we choose to face the highs and lows of life tells us how resilient our faith is, or whether there is work to be done to strengthen our reliance on Jesus and on his promises.
It is always going to be easier to have faith when things are going well. It is in those times of desolation that we learn a great deal about ourselves. It is okay to stop and question what is unclear or confusing, as long as we find joy in the journey. As I often say, we can become bitter or better. The disciples in both readings eventually did find joy and go onto become better. Just like for them it is for us, that we must discover our need to go deeper in our trust of Jesus and His promise not to ever leave us orphaned, to be with us always and to always love us unconditionally.
For though Jesus’ human form ascended into heaven, He is here present in word and sacrament. The Holy Spirit dwells within and among us. By God’s grace, may we attain what Saint Paul prayed for: May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe.
Keep the faith, live the faith. Fr Dave