Today we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. We are reminded in the Gospel of Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit. He will not leave us orphans but will send his powerful Spirit to be among us and provide us with the gifts we need to be courageous disciples in the world The Ascension reminds us that although we don’t see his resurrected body any longer, we will feel his presence in new ways. When the Spirit inspires us, enflames us, moves us to be passionate about justice for all our brothers and sisters or urges us on to be compassionate to our enemies and to love the most difficult, Christ is present.
Next Sunday we will celebrate the feast of Pentecost and we will call upon the Holy Spirit to break down the barriers we have created in our own hearts and among ourselves. We call upon that Spirit to move us from our apathy and indifference to passion about the Gospel and serving the Lord. We all need to be “shaken” up and reminded of what our priorities are in life. I think it’s interesting that the two men dressed in white ask the disciples after Jesus is ascended, “why are you looking up into the skies? He will return again just as he has been taken up.” In other words, don’t spend your life looking to the skies for what has been but realize he is with us now and calls us to give our “all” for the Kingdom of God. He also reminds us that His Spirit will be more than enough for us to accomplish all he asks.
As we approach Pentecost next Sunday, we are asking each member of Nativity to meditate on the gifts of the Spirit and to discern which gift you need in a special way this year. We realize that we have received all the gifts of the Spirit and they are just waiting to be used but we have to make an effort to claim them. So, which gift do you need this year? Next week we will have baskets in the front of church and have time to place our name in the basket under the gift we need. Hopefully, throughout the year, we will have moments where we will call upon the power of the Spirit to open that gift for us in a certain situation.
In case you may not get the insert or may forget the gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are:
WISDOM KNOWLDEGE COUNSEL FEAR OF THE LORD PIETY UNDERSTANDING FORTITUDE
Come Holy Spirit and fill us to overflowing