27 May 2006

The Ascension(s) of the Lord!

Somehow, here in the United States we have managed to extend the limitless powers of Jesus well beyond his "normal" divine powers. Due to each diocese's prerogative to choose whether or not to keep "Ascension Thursday" on a Thursday (traditionally Thursday of the sixth week of Easter) we have Jesus ascending to the Father twice in one week -- sometimes even in the same state (New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut). If that isn't grounds for some theological clarification -- perhaps even a little Vatican Counsel -- it would be hard to say what is!

All kidding aside, here in the metropolitan Archdiocese of Washington, DC we celebrate Ascension Thursday in place of the Seventh Sunday of Easter. And as we wait in hope for the coming of the Holy Spirit, we are reminded of part of Jesus' farewell discourse in the Gospel of John. In both yesterday's and today's Gospel, Jesus speaks of joy. A joy that "no one can take away." This is, perhaps, the hallmark of a healthy Christian life. Despite circumstances which may be difficult, the great mystery of our salvation, begun with the Incarnation and crowned with the Ascension, is the source of our hope and joy.

Whatever day you celebrate(d) the Ascension of the Lord, may it bring a profound sense of joy and an abiding peace in the Lord's good providence.

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