My Ascension

Ascension of the Lord—Year A
By Deacon Dick Kostner

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. We also need to celebrate the the fact that Jesus remains with us for all eternity individually for all to rejoice by and through the Sacraments gifted to us by Jesus and the vocation directed to all who have received the Sacrament of Baptism by being called to be the body, hands, mind, heart, and feet of Jesus here on Earth by and through his marriage with us as members of the Church of Christ. Wow, what a privilege, but what a responsibility.

Our readings tell us that we have been chosen to respond to the call to be the Body of Christ here on earth as we continue our journey, our “Ascension” to Jesus who resides with the Father and the Holy Spirit. It is through the Sacraments that we receive a helper to guide us on our mission. The Paraclete joins to our body and spirit whenever we celebrate the gift of Sacraments given us by Jesus when he walked in body here on earth. Through the gift of Sacrament we become one in Spirit with God who helps guide us on missions he has requested of us.

As told us in our second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians: “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…

How do we know that Jesus is still with us. Good question, but all we need to do is watch and listen for he will speak to us and help us discern the will and hopes he has for us. I will share with you a personal example of knowing God is still here with us. Everyone knows the struggle and fear that exists about re-opening with the virus still spreading. It has not been easy for your clergy to celebrate private Masses without you, the larger Body of Christ, being present. How do we as clergy know what to do or how to continue ministry during these trying times? The answer lies in prayer. Personal prayer to the one who promised to be with us always on our journey to the Father’s house. Prayer need not be formal or fancy for prayer is nothing more than talking with God about problems or challenges we are experiencing. It is through communication, it is through prayer, that relationships are formed.

Recently I have been asking God for direction on knowing what God would like me to do during these challenging times when we are asked to curb our direct contacts with others. I have also asked for some communication from Jesus as to my personal mission he desires me to embark upon. A couple of weeks ago just before celebrating Mass with Father Victor, he requested that I pick out a couple of names for our parish calendar raffle. I reached in, stirred the tickets, and grabbed two raffle tickets which were sitting next to each other. The first name I picked was Steve Turner. Steve was one of the people who joined St. Paul’s Catholic Church a year ago and had attended our Parish RCIA classes. I remarked to Father that Steve is one of those guys that has always been lucky; whether in love in finding his gifted spouse, or in fishing at the right spot. The second name I picked was, guess who? Deacon Dick. What a coincidence!

It was during the Mass that I realized the event that had just happened. I had received an answer to what God wished me to continue to do. He told me that I was important in helping others find their way to the Church of Christ and to the vocation of being the Body of Christ. And how has this affected Steve’s life? He is now an adult server in our parish and he and his wife help out with our RCIA program, with him heralding the fact that since his marriage to Elaine he has been in Church more than all of his previous years of his life. What a coincidence!

Guess what? Jesus is not up in the clouds, He is still with us through the Body of Christ and his Sacraments. Thank you Jesus for being our supernatural friend. Wishing to all of you as the Body of Christ, a blessed Ascension!

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