From our Pastor: May 26, 2019

During the forty days between Easter Sunday and the Ascension of Jesus Christ into
Heaven, 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 Heaven as we
celebrate the Ascension, 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, Ascension Thursday, the 40th day after Easter Sunday, is transferred to the following Sunday ( June 2nd this year).

Even with His Ascension, Jesus promised His disciples that He would be with
them forever – “In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me,
because I live and you will live” ( John 14:19-20; Matthew 28:20) – and He kept His
promise in His Church, Word, Sacraments, prayer and the gifts of His Holy Spirit. As
Jesus Ascended into Heaven in His glorious body, He helps us understand that by His
Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension, He prepared a place for us in His Father’s
House ( John 14:1-6). Jesus assures us that on the Last Day, He will raise our mortal
bodies to be like His own, in glory, reuniting our body and soul in Heaven ( John 6). We
proclaim this every time we profess the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed, summaries of our Faith, including the fact that we look forward to the resurrection of the body and eternal life in Heaven.

The hope of Heaven gave comfort and peace to the Apostles and continues to do
so for all disciples of Jesus Christ. In our journey toward Heaven, our purpose in life,
Our Lord strengthens us with Heavenly food, the Holy Eucharist, where Jesus Christ
is truly, really and substantially present. He continues to guide and direct His Church
toward Heaven, giving us the Advocate, the Holy Spirit – Jesus even promised us that
when we love Him and keep His word, then He and the Father and the Holy Spirit will
dwell with us ( John 14:23-29). Our duty is to follow the Lord, by His grace, in daily
prayer, in His Church, Word and Sacraments, to keep His Commandments, to love
Him with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. All the while, keeping focused
on Heaven helps us to love as God has loved us – a love that can transform everything
we say and do, even the most mundane tasks, when we realize that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is present at every moment and can sanctify our daily words and deeds. It is then that we realize evermore deeply His love and peace, a love and peace that the world cannot give and the world cannot take away ( John 14:27). Amen. Alleluia!

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William

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