On the Feast of the Ascension

It was a pretty short sermon this morning, as it’s a weekday and folks needed to get to work. Bottom line: You thought “cross and resurrection” was the whole story? Folks, we are only getting started.

Holy Week and the Resurrection were followed by the 40 days we have just completed: the joyful time when Christ lives among His people, prefiguring His future reign on earth, “Whose kingdom shall have no end.” But it was only a foretaste, and now he has ascended. So we are left with an empty place in our prayers – no “Christ is risen” and no “O Heavenly King.” That empty place will be filled at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes and the Church begins to be revealed.

After our 40 days of fasting, and the journey of Holy Week, we have spent 40 days rejoicing with the apostles in the presence of our Lord. Now we join them in their ten days of intense prayer, seeking purification and illumination by the Holy Spirit.

If feasting has made you spiritually negligent or you’ve forgotten that “in the world you will have tribulation,” then the next ten days are your wake-up call to rekindle the flame of your first love for the Lord. Your family will thank you for returning to the practice of guarding your mouth from speaking unkindly and guarding your eyes from seeing what is offensive. Your rule of prayer hasn’t gone away: It is patiently waiting for you. Join the apostles who are praying daily in the upper room, and be with them when the Holy Spirit comes.

Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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