The feast of the Ascension challenges us to deepen our faith because we are asked to believe and trust in a seemingly absent Jesus. Yes, forty days after his resurrection, Jesus returned to his heavenly home assuring his disciples however that he would be with them, ‘even till the end of the age.’ Here then we have a great riddle of our faith, Jesus who walked among us as a man has ascended into heaven, and yet he promised to be with us always. How can this be?
It’s in our feast next Sunday that we find the answer to this riddle. Jesus leaves us so that he might always be with us through the action of the Holy Spirit. Yes, it’s the Holy Spirit which prevents Jesus from simply being an historical figure. It’s though the action of the Holy Spirit that Jesus is with us in every moment. Hidden yes, but truly present all the same.
Last weekend we received the unexpected but happy news of +Michael Gielen’s appointment to Christchurch. I think this is a great appointment! Lets pray for +Michael now as he prepares to come south to lead our diocese as its Chief Shepherd. I had a little contact with +Michael this past week assuring him of the prayers of the St Peter Chanel parish family.