RAY COLLINS: Feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost

Sacred Heart Cathedral’s Sunday Mass Bulletin contained an interesting  article on yesterday’s celebration of the Feast of the Ascension and this coming Sunday’s Feast of Pentecost.

The focus is on Jesus words to the disciples “… you’ll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria and indeed to the ends of the world”. It is also on the words of the angels appearing to them after Jesus ascended into heaven; “Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky?”

The writer translates this as “There’s no time to mope, no time to feel sorry for yourselves. There’s a great message of good news to be preached and lived out.”

As we know the disciples were at that stage not at all sure of their mission and when they gathered in the one room on Pentecost it was as much out of fear of the Jews as it was of still trying to discern Jesus’s ascent into heaven.

However from that time onwards, with the power of the Holy Spirit driving them, they were to fulfil Jesus’s message to preach the Good News to all corners of the earth.

The bulletin article’s author, Ted Walgamot, makes the following points:

“And the fire that came to consume them raged so brightly that within less than 200 years, most of the known world became aware of a group called “Christians”. Just think, they did it without Facebook or Twitter or even a printing press!

When you consider that there was no social media in those days, no TV or radio or anything other than a word-of-mouth means of spreading the message, it is truly remarkable how exciting and freeing the good news of great joy was to so many people. For over 2000 years, in spite of sometimes very flawed and even shocking emissaries, this same message has been presented, and it is offered to you and me every day: We are loved, not abandoned; we are cherished, not forgotten; we are treasured, not dismissed.”

As staff in Catholic schools we carry on this mission of spreading the Good News. I trust we are always able to do so with a sense of awe and wonder that gives added stimulus to this great message of love.

Thank you for all you do to ensure that the young people in our care can experience the joy of this special time in our Church’s year.

Ray Collins Image
Ray Collins

Ray Collins is the Director of Schools within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. He is an authority on education issues.

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