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The Ascension of Our Lord
The Ascension of Our Lord Homily Transcript
>>We have the great joy of beginning the Acts of the Apostles in today’s first reading. If you get a chance friends, go read the Acts of the Apostles. It’s my favorite, one of my favorite books of the bible about the early church and how the early church progressed.
In the reading that you heard Kristen read, you heard three times a reference to the Holy Spirit. Now I want to talk about each of those three times.
The first one was, ah, the first one was a reminder that Jesus spoke and taught his disciples through the power of the Holy Spirit. Yep.
Second one, Jesus reminded His disciples He would be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
And thirdly, at the end of the first reading we heard the Holy Spirit was going to send down gifts upon the disciples and send them out for ministry. Send them out to proclaim the good news. Send them out in mission.
I think all three of those are really, really powerful and really helpful because it’s a reminder for us each time we pick up scripture. Each time we read – each time we hear scripture being proclaimed and we read it ourselves we’re doing so under the auspices, with the power and through the gifts and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Remember that when you pick up your scripture. Remember the Holy Spirit is accompanying you in a powerful way each time you read the scripture. In the Acts of the Apostles that St. Luke wrote we hear that.
Secondly, we also know that when we’re baptized we’re given the gifts of the Holy Spirit and those gifts come to their fruition and are multiplied and their celebrated at confirmation.
Remember that, when your grandchild or child is being confirmed and receiving the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in confirmation.
I have to memorize them: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Those are the gifts imbued upon all children, all adults being confirmed.
First in baptism we’ll receive the gifts, their confirmed then in confirmation. But this next one is a powerful one. That the Holy Spirit sends us out in mission. Sends us out into the world to proclaim the good news to the world around us. And friends, that takes a lot of work. That takes a tremendous amount of work as we’re sent out into mission. And, God promises us that He’ll show us accompanying signs that the Holy Spirit’s working in the world around us.
What are those signs? We hear about them in the gospel, but there’s five of them. Three of them, I myself have experienced. Two of them I haven’t yet. What about you?
First of all, we hear that demons are going to be driven out. And I’ve seen that happening. I mean, I haven’t seen the demons but I’ve seen people who are possessed by really evil spirits being cleaned by the power of Jesus.
I’ve seen people preaching and speaking in new languages, I myself had to learn Spanish as I was in the seminary. [speaking Spanish]
And finally, the other one that I’ve experienced is laying hands, others and myself laying hands and people finding spiritual healing. Spiritual healing through the laying of our hands and the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.
I’ve never seen anyone pick up snakes and not be bit and I’ve never seen anyone drink poison and not die. Ah, I haven’t seen those, but the other three gifts of the spirit I’ve seen.
Friends, the Holy Spirit is with us – has been set with us as Jesus ascended into heaven He promised to send forth the Holy Spirit to be with us.
I don’t want to steal the thunder of Pentecost, but I want us to remember that Jesus promised never to leave us alone and He gave us a mission to go into the world to share the good news by what we say and what we do always. And He’ll be with us always until the end of time.
You can now enjoy Sunday Mass at Mercy Home’s homily in podcast form: