The Feast of Ascension teaches us that Heaven is our home. On this Feast we venerate our Lord who ascended into Heaven with His body to show us that we are created for perfect union with God in His Heavenly Kingdom. Therefore we live as citizens of Heaven. We do not identify with the latest fads or philosophies of the day. Our identity is not in our possessions, pleasures, or power. Our identity is in Christ. We are Christians. Our Lord says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Mt. 6:19-20).
As we see to the daily cares of this life we cannot afford to forget the existence of Heaven and the invisible world. Heaven is not a geographical place that you can put on a map. Heaven is the highest expression of Divine joy and blessedness described in Revelation 21-22. There is no crying, no pain, no darkness at all because it is the presence of God who is light. It is the Kingdom which is to be sought first so that all things can be added. (Mt. 6:33) This Divine joy is the reason for creation. The Holy Fathers tell us that God created the world and mankind out of love so that he could share His joy with other beings.
When Christ ascended into Heaven with His body, He showed us that Heaven is our home, our goal, our final destination. When he was explaining his ascension to the disciples, he told them his bodily departure should not make them sad because he was going to prepare a place for them. (Jn 14:3) This preparation is taking place today as Christ offers His grace to the world out of love. The grace of God is the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world. Jesus' ascension to the Father activates the ministry of the Holy Spirit. (Jn. 14:16) It is the Spirit who comforts us, gifts us, guides us into truth, and forms us into citizens of Heaven so that we may ascend like Christ.
But the Holy Spirit has not replaced Christ for us. Everything the Spirit does is to glorify Christ and make His presence known (Jn. 16:14-15). This takes place in the Divine Liturgy when the Holy Spirit comes down on the holy gifts of bread and wine and makes them the body and blood of Christ. Christ is present with his people Eucharistically. The Eucharistic presence of Christ is even more powerful than His bodily presence because it reminds us that His Kingdom is not of this world. As we gain a deeper understanding of the Great Feast of Ascension, let us deepen our uncompromising devotion to Christ in the Eucharist. Nothing is so precious to us as the presence of our bridegroom who has ascended into Heaven, who will come again, whose Kingdom shall have no end.
- This Friday is our turn to lead the Ephraim Project homeless feeding. We will serve food at 5PM, but cooking and preparation begins at noon so come whenever you are available.
- Mission Trip to North Carolina is July 22-28. We will be praying, growing, and serving the poor together with FOCUS North America. The deadline to signup is Sunday June 11. The cost is $250
- Fr. Gerasim will be visiting us on Saturday June 16 for Vespers. The Episcopal Search Committee has recommended that we nominate him to serve as our next Bishop. After the service, there will be opportunity to meet and greet.
- Congratulations to our graduates Olivia and Sonya !
- VBS is at Holy Trinity June 11-15, 2012 Time: 4:30-8. ALL HANDS ON DECK!! Get ready for a swashbuckling adventure through God’s Word! Don’t miss the High Seas Expedition where you will explore the mighty love of God! VBS is for children entering Pre-K4 through entering 5th Grade in August 2012.
- Church School is taking a summer vacation. Many thanks to our teachers for this past year: Tara, Kathy, and Justyna. We continue to rejoice in the faith of our children and pray that God will complete the good work that has been started in them.
From Fr. Daniel's weekly email.