Show of hands, did you know today is a Holy Day of Obligation, Ascension Thursday? Okay, maybe that isn’t quite true as for some reason it can be celebrated on Sunday, but here in Massachusetts it is. And, I even went to Mass this morning, first Holy Day of Obligation mass I have attended in an awful long time.
I have to say I was surprised by the number of people attending, more than I thought would be there, certainly not a full church, but I thought a good attendance. I’m not sure it would be correct to say this is one way you an tell the really good Catholics or not, so I won’t.
Jesus ascended to be at he right hand of the Father on this day. As we learned all week through the daily Gospel readings, Jesus tells us not to be sad because
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth;it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” – John 16:7
The Counselor Jesus refers to is the Holy Spirit. When he ascends to heaven he can send the Holy Spirit to fill the Apostles and through them, us. What does this mean? When we receive the Holy Spirit we are now able to receive new life as children of God.
“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’. So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir.” – Galatians 4:6 – 7
It is through the Holy Spirit that we receive the Word. And the Word is God.