A Note From Fr. LeRoy
This weekend we celebrate the bodily Ascension of our Lord into heaven. Although traditionally marked out and celebrated 40 days after Easter in many dioceses, this Feast has been transferred to the following Sunday (Ascension Sunday) so more people can be available to celebrate this great event. Tradition says Jesus appeared for 40 days to his apostles and disciples before returning to heaven.
Liturgically speaking this celebration (Ascension) dates back to at least the 4th-5th Cent. where St. Augustine speaks of it, but he speaks of it as a universal observance long before his time, possible dating back to even the 1st-2nd Cent. AD. For this reason, it’s obvious that this occurrence in our Lord’s life had a profound effect on his followers.
I remember an old saying in my college physics and quantum mechanics class, The Pauli exclusion: “Two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.” Although certainly true with space and time and matter, I like to think this is somewhat also true in our spiritual lives. It’s similar to what Jesus says in Matthew (6:24) “You cannot serve both God and money. No one can serve two masters…” Jesus is very emphatic in telling his apostles and disciples that He must leave (ascend to Father) in order that the Holy Spirit could come down upon them at Pentecost. In other words, if the risen Jesus were to simply stick around, his apostles and disciples either would not (or could not) allow the Spirit to work personally inside them! They would constantly be wanting to go straight to Jesus for counsel and advice. Jesus needed to leave in order to make room for the Holy Spirit to work more in their life. Besides, His work of redemption had been accomplished. Although we no longer see Him, Jesus is certainly still with us in a new way!
Today, we have the fruits of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church and in us, and we can be thankful for that. Jesus is only a prayer away as we allow His Spirit to speak to us at any time and in any space! So, as we prepare to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, which arrives next week, allow the Holy Spirit of Jesus to guide and direct your actions and thoughts in Christ.
Finally, I want to point out the insert in our bulletin regarding our Bishop’s letter to priests laying out the time-line for loosening Covid-19 restrictions in response to Governor Walz latest statements. Please read this letter carefully as in the coming weeks we are going to lift many of the restrictions our state and local community churches have been under this past 1 year and a half. This is good news as the number of people being vaccinated is going up and the number of Covid-19 cases are stable and even going down. Our ACC parishes for the most part will be following Bishop Kettler’s lead. On the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus we can also rejoice and lift up our hearts to maybe a better future and return to normalcy for us all! Peace and God bless.
Fr. LeRoy Scheierl