Ascension of the Lord

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C.  |  05/12/2024  |  Pastor's Letter

Many of us remember when The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord was celebrated on “Ascension Thursday.” For various reasons, in most places in the United States it is now celebrated on the Sunday following 40 days of Easter. It’s hard to believe how fast time flies, isn’t it? We’ve now been giving glory to God for Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Morning for over 40 days! That’s more than the entire Lenten observance which preceded our great paschal celebration.

Like the first disciples, we at SJV have been praising, thanking, celebrating the Lord Jesus for His Resurrection from the dead and His offer of eternal life to us, who believe. This has been a time of miracles and new life. Yet, now we honor the day when Jesus ascends to heaven and is seated, in glory, at the right-hand of the Father. The angels tell us - as they did to the first disciples - “This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.(Acts 1:11)

I don’t know about you, but I think of this promise at each Mass as I pray the Embolism, following the Our Father, “by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is certainly still with us. Every time we Adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament and receive the Eucharist, we are in the Real Presence. He is also the Living Word of God so we hear Jesus every time we read the Bible. He is present in Sacraments, so very much at baptisms, confirmations, Mass, confessions, anointings of the sick, Catholic weddings, ordinations, and confessions. Since Jesus told us that “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40) we have many opportunities every day to do works of mercy toward Jesus in the vulnerable and needy.

Jesus is also coming again in glory. We profess it every Sunday in the Creed: He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.

So, my friends, let’s keep our hearts and minds and souls raised to heaven in joyful expectation. Jesus is with us always and He’s also coming again. Everything is under control, we don’t need to figure everything out. God is on His throne. Give to Him whatever is worrying us, as 1 Peter 5:7 says “Cast all your worries upon Him because He cares for you.” He really does.

God bless you and your family this week!