God’s plan is quite different from the concept of “fate.” Fate is the concept that our story or parts of our story are fixed. To go against fate, we ruin the likelihood of achieving our ultimate purpose or we can chance missing out on amazing things.
What grabs your attention? What makes you pause and wonder in amazement? Fireworks make us stare at the sky in awe, and rarely do we look away in case we miss one! If you went to a 4th of July celebration but ignored the fireworks, maybe just stared off in a daydream or busy on your phone, people might wonder why you came at all. Would you go to a movie theater but not watch the movie? Would you instead keep looking at your watch wondering what time you were going to be able to get out of there? Of course not! But yet we do that exact thing at mass. Sometimes we are so self-absorbed or distracted, we miss the amazing and truly awesome thing that is occurring on the altar right in front of us!
Are we so distracted that we miss what God is doing?
This Sunday is the Feast of Corpus Christi — the Feast of the Body of Christ. Some churches celebrate this day with Eucharistic Adoration, processions, and other special acts of devotion. Check out your local parish and see what ways you can enter more fully into this Sunday’s celebrations!
What does it mean to be Catholic? Getting to heaven isn’t about doing more good things than bad. It’s about cooperating with God’s amazing free gift and living the life God has created you to live.
St. Maria Goretti gives us a great example of this. She lays down her life for purity sake and is willing to forgive her attacker.
Sometimes I wonder what if the apostles had know what was about to happen at Pentecost, would they have run away? When the Holy Spirit comes everything changes. Their lives are never the same.
I am excited to share with you this great video from Dave VanVickle about Pentecost. He talks about what that change is that happens when the Holy Spirit comes.
Both in the few days leading up to Pentecost and those following I want to challenge you to invite the Holy Spirit in. The traditional prayer to the Holy Spirit says:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
“Fill the hearts of your faithful” are the words I challenge you to pray and truly mean when you say them. Let the Holy Spirit make this pivotal change in your heart that Dave speaks of. Give him permission when you pray those words.
How is the Holy Spirit working in your life? Share below!
While we wait, what is God doing? That is the question that Dave VanVickle considers in this week’s #ShareJesus video. We also want to invite you to join us in a Novena to the Holy Spirit.
Did you know that on May 4, 1897, Pope Leo XIII said: “We decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in every subsequent year, a novena shall take place before [Pentecost}, in all parish churches.”
The Pentecost novena is the original novena celebrating the nine days between Ascension and Pentecost.
Join Christians all over the world in praying for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit starting on Friday.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful. And kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your spirit, Lord, and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray, O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of your faithful;grant that in the same Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through the same Christ, our Lord.
Holy Father, in the name of Jesus, send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Come, Spirit of Wisdom, detach us from the things of earth, and pour into us a love and desire for those of heaven. Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Come, Spirit of Understanding, illumine our minds with the light of eternal truth and enrich them with holy thoughts. Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Come, Spirit of Counsel, make us docile to your inspirations and guide us in the way of salvation. Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Come, Spirit of Fortitude, give us strength, constancy, and victory in the battle against our spiritual enemies. Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Come, Spirit of Knowledge, be teacher of our souls and help us to put into practice the things you have taught us. Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Come, Spirit of Piety, come dwell in our hearts to possess and sanctify all our affections.
Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
Come, Spirit of reverent Fear, reign in our wills and make us always ready of suffer any evil rather than sin. Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.
O God, through the gift of the Holy Spirit you guide believers to the full light of truth. Grant that in your Spirit we may taste true wisdom and rejoice always in your consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I used to not fully realize what we celebrated on Ascension Thursday. Growing up it seemed like a sad end to the story: Superman Jesus flies away and the disciples are left standing around in disbelief. Several years ago, a mentor of mine said to me that on Ascension Thursday we celebrate one of the boldest things that Jesus ever did. He left the world and left the church in the hands of the disciples. If you understand the feast of the Ascension, it has pretty serious and exciting consequences for your life.
I used to be the type of leader that believed if you want something done correctly it’s better to do it yourself. This is not the model of Jesus, but sadly it can often be the model we use in the church. A church that is truly healthy isn’t marked by people who behave and follow but by people who are leaders. The feast of the Ascension should call the church to remember we need to invest in developing leaders. “Leadership potential” is a myth. Each and every baptized Christian is called to be a leader, recognizing their unique calling and gifting. You were anointed at baptism as Priest, Prophet, and King!
The feast of the Ascension is a feast that should remind us what discipleship is really about. Being a disciple does not mean simply praying, receiving the sacraments, and trying to avoid sin. God wants you to have a vision for your life. Being a disciple means that you are fully alive and are using your gifts in whatever situation God puts you in. Too often we live lives as Christians that are too similar to our non-Christian friends. Our mountaintop experiences shouldn’t revolve around escaping reality. Our mountaintop experiences should be about experiencing the love of Jesus in our everyday lives and sharing that with others. We should aim to live lives we don’t need to escape from.
Being a disciple means that we experience the overwhelming love of God and in response to that love, we give him our entire lives. God has a calling for you. We discover who we are called to be, as we are in relationship with Jesus.
One of the necessities of being a disciple is following the master closely. You can’t do that from a distance and you can’t be both master and disciple. Only one can be in charge. The ironic but true: when we give God control, we are more free then we have ever been. Even though I often forget this reality, I have found only God is truly enough. Nothing else in my life ever compares to his love. God is more than enough. He loves me perfectly. He loves you perfectly. He invites you to be a disciple
We can’t forget that although the apostles ended up saints, they clearly started as sinners. In fact, throughout most of the Gospels Jesus is rebuking the disciples because they don’t understand what he is telling them or they are doing things contrary to his teaching. Why in the world is Jesus ready to leave the world and the Church in their hands? He has poured his life into them for 3 years. I am sure he is fully confident they will make some mistakes, but he is even more convinced they are ready to lead because he has invested his time and himself in them.
Jesus leaves his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit, but charges them with the great commission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Three takeaways I would love to share with you on this feast of the Ascension:
- God has uniquely gifted and called you to be a leader.
- Find a mentor. One of the greatest ways to grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ is through a discipleship / mentoring relationship. Look for someone who is living their relationship with Jesus in a way that you want to imitate.
- Be a mentor. Sharing your faith and your walk with someone newer to the faith then yourself isn’t only beneficial to you, it’s too often the missing piece of discipleship in our church today. Disciples are multipliers. That means they are always looking to replicate in others what Christ has done in them.
Be encouraged. The world needs your witness. Step up. The Church needs bold leaders.
I would love to hear your thoughts below. What lessons has the Ascension taught you? How have mentors played a part in your spiritual life?