From Our Pastor: The Ascension of the Lord
We celebrate the feast of the Ascension of our Lord into heaven this Sunday. Christ ascended into heaven by His own power and authority. We begin the book of the Acts of the Apostles with the Apostles and disciples watching Christ ascend. Then we hear from Ephesians expanding on the ascension and its meaning and purpose for us to follow Christ! Because of the ascension, Jesus shows us that our flesh is not something to be escaped, but instead something to be embraced, something to be cared for, something to be mastered, and something to be disciplined. Our bodies will be raised in the resurrection! We use our bodies now for the mission that Christ has called us to. In following Christ, we all have a part to play, and none of those parts are the same. Each and every one of us is given gifts to complete YOUR task and your task alone. In fulfilling what He has commanded in our life, we prepare for the world to come. While we wait though, for the second coming, Jesus didn’t leave us alone. He first will give us the spirit in Pentecost, but He also tells us today in the gospel that He will be with us until the end of time. Because of the resurrection, the ascension, and Pentecost we have the gift of the Eucharist where Christ fulfills His promise to be with us to the end of the age. He is in the tabernacles of the world, waiting for you and me, always there for us.
This week we graduated our 8th graders, so congratulations to them! A great group and I look forward to seeing how they make us proud ahead! We graduate our preschoolers! How adorable they are to see them move on to kindergarten! Our school is doing their play, “Peter Panic” this weekend! I am looking forward to that! And we wrap up the school week this week! What a big moment in our school as everything comes to a close! Remember parents, and all of us, summer is a break from school, but not from mass! Vacation, I overslept, sports, we are camping, etc. etc. these are not reasons to miss mass, and missing mass, for something other than illness or being home bound, is a mortal sin. Please do not put yourselves or your children in grave sin, and even more so teach them the importance and the excitement of mass attendance always!
As we make final preparations for the parish picnic, first please attend the picnic, but also make sure you do your part in making the picnic a success. Envelopes were handed out by the picnic committee and if you didn’t get one, contact the office or anyone on the committee! Please also make sure you sign up for helping in some aspect! If everyone takes a shift and helps it is not a burden on anyone! Please help us make this picnic fun and successful as it supports the efforts of our school, and we rely on it.
One last thought, someone asked for Pentecost, if I could encourage everyone to wear red! It isn’t required, but it is a nice moment to do so! I have been asked by parish council and many others to remind everyone in general for preparing for mass, that we strive to remind ourselves what we are attending, and make sure we look like we understand the magnitude of this amazing gift that is mass and not come looking like we got up and rolled into mass in pajamas or heading to the pool. ESPECIALLY if you are assigned as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion or Lector or Usher. Fr. Don had dress codes for these ministries, and they still stand. This is the wedding feast of the lamb! We dress up for weddings, please keep in mind we should do the same or better for mass! It helps us show our children this isn’t something mundane but something important! Yes, we would rather you be here, but we need to not settle for just being here, we need to challenge ourselves to make sure we remember why, understand more about it, enter into the mass, etc. etc. Dressing like its important helps us remember it is the MOST important moment of our week! Speaking of red, when I was little, I had a red sport coat. Now I couldn’t say sport, so I called it my “port coat.” I loved that thing! If I could have lived in it, I would have, but most especially I loved wearing it to mass because I knew it was important, and I knew it looked good! Or at least I thought I looked good in my mind, but the sentiment was there, I knew I wanted to look my best for Jesus! May we all keep that same kind heart and mindset for mass.
Welcome home to Sam Doellman, as many of you know he has discerned out of seminary, but please make sure you thank him for answering the call and seeing if this is what God was calling him to! I hope this is a reminder to many who are on the fence about seminary, going to seminary doesn’t mean a lifelong commitment yet, it means you are open to seeing what God is calling you to! Please have the courage to follow. Speaking of seminarians and seminary, we have been asked to host a seminarian this summer! His name is Thomas Marten, and he will be arriving the next couple weeks! Please welcome Thomas to the parish and make him feel at home here at St. Francis!
Lastly, please pray for the men to be ordained transitional deacons this Friday May 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cathedral in Springfield! You are all most welcome to attend! Alex Mccullough who comes to visit regularly, will be ordained a deacon, as well as Daniel McGrath and Jayke White. This means they will be ordained priests next May, God willing!
What a blessing to our Diocese!
-Rev. Steven Arisman