Letting Go and Letting God

Transitions are difficult moments in our lives.  Whenever we come to the end of something in our life, we face the challenge of letting go of what is familiar, of plunging into the unknown.  Letting go is hard.  No less, beginning again is hard, even when the new reality is something to which we've been looking forward for a long time.  As anyone who has worked their way through a 12-step recovery program knows, there is no other way: all we can do is “let go and let God”, living life “one day at a time!”

As we move through this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have no idea what kinds of transitions await us, what the “new normal” is going to look like.  This is true for society as a whole, and it will be true for us as church communities.  But the most important thing to remember is that through the Holy Spirit, Christ is with us.  He will never abandon us. Even if Jesus is no longer physically present, even if for a time we are deprived of the grace of the sacraments, the grace of Christ’s presence abides in his church, abides in us.  This is His promise!!

Today’s feast of the Ascension is about letting go, and about the promise of new beginnings.  This is beautifully illustrated by the work of the evangelist St. Luke.  One story comes to a close: the Gospel, the time in which Jesus is present and visible to his followers: he is God the Son, the Word made flesh.  Immediately, another story begins: the Acts of the Apostles, the initiation of the realm of God the Holy Spirit.  The principle of continuity between the two stories is Jesus, who promises to be present to his disciples forever: “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of time.”  What is different is the form of his presence: henceforth, the followers of Jesus must discern his presence in the world through his empowering and indwelling Spirit

Once again, the poetry of mystic Malcolm Guite brings us to a deeper appreciation of this mystery, and its meaning for us today:  

We saw his light break through the cloud of glory
Whilst we were rooted still in time and place
As earth became a part of Heaven’s story
And heaven opened to his human face.
We saw him go and yet we were not parted
He took us with him to the heart of things
The heart that broke for all the broken-hearted
Is whole and Heaven-centred now, and sings,
Sings in the strength that rises out of weakness,
Sings through the clouds that veil him from our sight,
Whilst we ourselves become his clouds of witness
And sing the waning darkness into light
His light in us, and ours in him concealed,
Which all creation waits to see revealed.

 

Special thanks to Sr. Beverley and the team that worked on the liturgy this weekend.  I have been very impressed with how the community has come together to pray during my illness to provide such beautiful worship services.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and to visit our website, where you can continue to support the parish financially. 

I am happy to report that Fr. Bertoli is getting stronger.  He misses us all and suffers from the isolation, but he is getting good care and looking forward to being released from the hospital.  I am also feeling much better and getting lots of walking in this beautiful sunshine we have been saving!  I am looking forward to be able to preside at the community Mass this coming Sunday as we welcome the outpouring of the Holy Spirit through our celebration of Pentecost! 

God bless you all,

Fr. Raymond