During the forty days between Easter Sunday and the Ascension of Jesus Christ,
the Church instructs us to keep our eyes on Heaven, our final resting place, to which
Our Lord Jesus Christ is calling us. We become more aware of this instruction as we
approach the celebration of the day on which Jesus, God the Son, went up to the right
hand of God the Father (Rev. Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God). In the
Diocese of Madison and some other dioceses the celebration of Ascension Thursday,
the fortieth day after Easter, May 10th this year, is transferred to the subsequent Sunday,
which is May 13th this year.
Our Lord had promised His disciples that in a little while He would be with them
forever. “In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me…” ( John
14:19-20). Jesus Christ kept His promise in His Church, Word and Sacraments. And
His presence did not end when He went up in His glorious body to His Father, because,
by His Passion, Death and Resurrection, He has prepared for us a place in His Father’s
House ( John 14:1-6). “I will come back again,” Jesus tells us, “and take you to Myself, so
that where I am you also may be” ( John 14:3). Indeed, on the Last Day, God will raise
our mortal bodies to be like His own, in glory, reuniting our body and soul in Heaven.
This is our Faith and Hope, which God has given us. We proclaim this every time we
say the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed, when we state that we believe in and look
forward to the resurrection of the body and eternal life in Heaven.
The Apostles and each disciple of Christ are comforted by the hope of Heaven. In our
journey toward Heaven, our purpose in life, we are strengthened by the Eucharist, where Jesus Christ is truly, really and substantially present. And God continues to guide and direct His Church, for He has given us the Advocate, the Holy Spirit ( John 14:23-
29). Our duty is to follow the Lord, to keep His Commandments, to love Him with
all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. In the fifteenth
chapter of the Gospel of Saint John, which we hear this Sunday, Jesus Christ tells us
to remain in His love, and if we keep His commandments, we will remain in His love
( John 15:9-17). Jesus gives us this command so that His joy may be in us and our
joy might be complete. “This is my commandment,” He says, “love one another as I
love you.” Meditating on Heaven helps us to love as God has loved us – a love that
transforms everything we say and do, even the most mundane moments, realizing that
God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is present at every moment, sanctifying our words
and deeds. It is then that we realize evermore deeply His peace, a peace that the world
cannot give and the world cannot take away ( John 14:27). Amen. Alleluia.
Please be assured of my prayers for you and your families, with thanksgiving to God particularly as we celebrate First Holy Communion for 25 of our young people this Sunday and as we prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day on May 13th for all of our moms, living and deceased. Mary, Mother of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, pray for us. Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, pray for us. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
With peace and prayers in Christ,