Fr. Bill's Corner

May 2017 PASTOR’S PULPIT

Forty days after Pascha (Easter) we celebrate another major feast

-The Ascension of Christ.

The Ascension is the culmination of the Lord’s mission. Jesus has completed His earthly ministry and He will be glorified in heaven. A joyful day for the Lord and for us!

After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to His followers but at the Ascension He disappears from sight. What could be a sad fare- well for the Lord’s original disciples was greeted by them instead with joy as they returned to Jerusalem.

Why joy at His departure? Because of Jesus, human nature also ascends to heaven. We can follow Him at our appointed time into the heavenly domain.

Heaven is not only for the divine, but also for the human. The ascended Christ opens the door of the heavenly kingdom to humanity. Because of the Ascension, the “Better Place” is affirmed for those who believe. The Lord promised many heavenly mansions for his faithful who do His works.

Heaven is the state of bliss where the vision of God is constantly before us and it is an intimate union with God. Our relationship with Him is the ultimate relationship between the creator and his creation.

God will raise us up together then at His Second Coming, so we can be with our Lord.

God wants us to be there with Him. Jesus’s farewell is for our welfare!

We are usually occupied by thoughts of the day without regard to the heavenly eternal life. It is hard for us to ponder things unseen or sounds unheard that we will experience in God’s presence according to Saint Paul. As mundane thoughts and worries crowd out notions of Heaven, the Ascension affirms that our earthly life is not the end for us.

The salvific mission of Jesus is accomplished through His Ascension.

For the glory of God,

+Fr. Bill Gikas

**Included in the monthly Parish Life Newsletter.