A special thank you this week to our friends of St. Mary of the Wood Parish, Chicago in the congregation.
The Ascension of the Lord Homily Transcript
Evangelist Billy Graham tells of a time during the early years of his preaching ministry. He was due to lead a crusade meeting in a town in South Carolina. He needed to mail a letter, so he asked a little boy in the main street, how he could get to the post office. The boy gave Billy Graham directions, and Billy said, “If you come to the Central Baptist Church this evening, I will tell you how to get to heaven.” The boy replied, “No thanks. You don’t even know how to get to the post office.” Pentecost is a feast that celebrates the day in our churches history when unity and courage triumphed over division, fear and getting lost. Yet today’s Gospel speaks of the disciples as filled with fear and a sense of being lost. The early followers of Jesus were not perfect. They all had their rough edges, but did you ever realize when Jesus was crucified his disciples ran away afraid? How does this feast of Pentecost connect with our everyday lives? The following story may help. There’s a story about an old Cherokee Chief who was teaching his eight-year-old grandson about life. He tells his grandson, “A fight is going on inside me. It’s a terrible fight. It’s between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He has anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, impatience, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, an unforgiving heart, self-doubt and worry. The other wolf is good within me. He has joy, peace, love, hope and mercy, serenity, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, forgiving, compassion and deep faith. This same fight is going on inside you and inside of every other person, too.” The grandson thought about this for a minute and said, and turned to his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The wise old chief turned to his grandson, smiled knowingly and replied, simply, “The one you feed. The one you feed.” The disciples in today’s readings are really all of us. At times we are afraid, fearful in times feeling lost. We ask the question, “Where am I going in life? What have I done with my life?” The Lord comes to us as He came to disciples and says, “Peace be with you.” Many times, no matter our age, we may ask, “God, where am I going with my life?” The feast of the Pentecost, His spirit touching the disciples and all of our lives means we never walk alone. The Lord is with us. For the spirit of God will never lead us where the grace of God cannot keep us.