Today in the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, which our diocese has moved from last Thursday to today, Jesus Christ has taken our human nature into heaven, even into the Blessed Trinity itself, the ultimate destiny God has created us for. In Jesus, God has come down from heaven to earth, even to the realm of the dead, with one specific mission, to reunite man to God in a definitive and irrefutable way. That goal is now accomplished for us, since Christ, in His very humanity, has gone up through the clouds to His Father. Sitting at the Father's right hand, His kingdom has begun throughout the entire world within His Church. As God-united-with-man, He never ceases to intercede for the human nature He has redeemed by His Resurrection and continues to bear into eternity.
We, like the disciples, perhaps watch in astonishment. But the angels, whom those disciples had hardly noticed right in front of them, remind us to get our heads out of the clouds and get down to business! While our hearts and minds remain in heaven, our hands and feet are still on earth. As Christ has fulfilled His mission in His Ascension, the Church's mission is just beginning, and so the Apostles must make that transition from prayerful learning and training under Christ into pro-active service to the Gospel: both its proclamation and spreading, and also the ministry of love to others. As a parish, we reflect on our own commitment to this service the Gospel demands of us. Do we serve the poor, the outcast, and each other within the one Body of Christ? To help us open our hearts anew to this call from God, I invite Aaron Wall to come forward and share his journey of growth in stewardship of service.