+Fr. Nicholas Georgiou, Holy Apostles - Westchester, IL | June 1, 2020
Last Thursday we celebrated our Lord’s Ascension. As our Lord ascended to heaven, He told His disciples to wait and promised: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” (Acts 1:8) These disciples shared a unique and intimate relationship with the Lord who filled their lives with hope, peace and courage. His ascension left them feeling sad. The disciples felt that they lost a dear friend and loved one. “Leave us not orphans” they cried out. These disciples wanted to continue living with the hope that they experienced when they were in His presence. Some of us may also feel abandoned and orphaned because we are social distancing and not allowed to enter our churches. We find ourselves living “in between” times anxiously anticipating the reopening of our churches.
Christ’s Ascension seemed like a parting and separating from the Lord. Some of us have experienced the Lord’s powerful presence and are now waiting for His power and strength. The Lord again provides. As Jesus ascends to heaven, He tells His disciples that the Holy Spirit will visit in ten days and always be with them. Jesus our Lord returned to His Father in heaven and took His throne at the right hand of the Father. Waiting is difficult and fatigue can take its toll. As the disciples waited, they remained full of hope because they knew they would receive the Holy Spirit. In “in between” times we cling to hope.
The Feast of Pentecost, celebrated ten days later, reminds us the Holy Spirit abides in us. His mind becomes our mind, His eyes, our eyes, His speech, our speech, and His actions become our actions. Our lives, just as the disciples experienced, can be transformed. Even in the midst of difficult times, the Lord prevails. He sits above the cares of this world at the center of the heavens. Even though we may experience heavy and dark clouds of uncertainty during these challenging “in between” times, the Lord is not hidden. He is in control of all things. God is Lord over all ailments. He is the Lord and His Kingdom rules over all. We may not see Him but He is present in our lives. The Ascension icon depicts our Lord sitting on the clouds so that their downpour will not crush us. During these “in between” times we can learn from the disciples and allow our loving Lord to help us overcome sadness and uncertainty and look forward with hope!