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Great Transitions


 

“So then the Lord Jesus,

after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven

and took his seat at the right hand of God.”

 

From Sunday’s Gospel Mark 16:15-20 

 

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of The Ascension of the Lord. The Ascension marks a major transition for the early Church; after 40 days in which Jesus appeared to his followers, now he is taken up into the skies and the Church will begin ministering without his physical presence. It will be a time when new leaders, such as Paul and Peter, arise to take the reigns of the Church.

    

May is a month of great transitions marked by high school and college graduations, First Communions, Confirmations, and other life-changing moments. There is always a sense of excitement and possibly anxiousness when embarking on a new phase in one’s life. It would be true for the early Church as they struggled to integrate Gentiles with those of Jewish background into the Church and as the need for new leadership emerged.

    

In the Acts of the Apostles, we hear how the Holy Spirit accompanied the early Church. “Three times the Holy Spirit comes into prominence in this reading. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus gives instructions to the apostles. Later, they will be baptized by the Holy Spirit. And finally, Jesus announces they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. All this emphasis on the Spirit assures readers of God’s love for humanity. Luke’s purpose is to impress upon his readers the forward progression of God’s saving plan despite the obstacles presented by an unbelieving world.” [From Sunday Homily Helps, St. Anthony Messenger Press.]

    

We pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide our Church as we seek to be relevant and have a voice in our modern society. May we be open to the Spirit’s promptings as we strive to live Jesus’ great commissioning to go to the ends of the earth to proclaim the Good News of the Lord.

 

 

 

 

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