The great feast of the Ascension is another shot in the arm for this period of post-baptismal reflection. As Martin said a couple of weeks back, it’s all about re-training the senses, and tuning in to Christ’s presence with us in our own daily Galilee, the place where we ourselves first encountered Christ, and not ‘looking up in the sky ‘ wistfully when actually he is right beside us! That promise ‘to be with us always, to the end of time’ even (or perhaps particularly) when the going gets tough, is the gospel acclamation for Ascension. That caused me to wonder. New Catholics sometimes drift away after baptism, or reception. For lots of reasons. Perhaps a loss of the intimacy of the catechumens the group, perhaps little attempt at integration in the life of the community prior to initiation. Perhaps not enough time spent on the mysterious business of wondering, and retraining the senses! Could we take time to have some good conversations together with our new Catholics, each of us recalling the power of experiences of Christ with us, in great and small things, and through this be affirmed in our faith, assured through our own senses, that Christ has shown himself to us too (Mark 16:15), and will continue to do so, forever, if we tune in to notice. And Jesus tells us to go out and share this good news of being wonderfully loved by Him and connected with Him, as the head to the body. Worth a trumpet blast! Stay with us dear friends, you are part of us and we need you!
Almighty ever-living God, who allow those on earth to celebrate divine mysteries, grant, we pray, that Christian hope may draw us onward to where our nature is united with you. (Post communion prayer, Ascension)