Jesus did not start a church during his time on earth. The Church was born after his death, on the feast of Pentecost. John, in his Gospel, tells us that the birth of the Church was a new creation God carried out through his Spirit in the light of Jesus’ resurrection.
In the midst of the COVID uncertainties and restrictions, the joy of life could be dulled. We need the risen Lord with us these days. Therefore, it might look a bit odd to celebrate the departure of Jesus in this time. But Matthew tells us why we should celebrate the Ascension of Jesus. The ascension of the Lord to Heaven (the departure of the Lord) is also the continued presence of the Lord on earth.
The thought of life after the corona pandemic is causing a lot of anxiety for many. The countries and regions which are much more badly affected than Australia are in the shadow of much more fear and anxiety than our local brothers and sisters. Yet anxiety is a terrible thing that can eat into the sense of security in life. In a worse case it can even question your sense of identity and purpose of life. Disciples of Jesus also had terrible anxiety, not because of corona virus, but because their Master and Teacher, Jesus, is gone.
Can you do anything greater than what Jesus did? Yes, you can do greater things, if you are a disciple of Jesus. When Jesus was preparing his disciples for his departure from them, he told them, “I tell you solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.”
How are you doing? Do you need anything? Such questions are replacing the more used chats about holidays, sports, art performances and personal achievements. Checking on each other and offering to help are very important in this time of social shut down. The love and care you show for each other is naturally a human need thing to do
Do we continue the streaming of Mass online after the COVID-19 restrictions? Perhaps the answer to this question can be derived from a reflection on the story of the couple who were going to Emmaus. Luke speaks of two people going from Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus; they could be husband and wife.
In this unusual situation, with the doors of the churches shut and your being asked to stay home, many people need a strengthening in their faith. They believe in Easter, yet there is a question in many minds, ‘Is Christ really risen and is he actually with us?’
Kathleen (Kath) Kensey (95), mother of Bob Kensey (acolyte) has gone for her Eternal Reward on Monday, 13 April 2020.
With all the shut downs the feast of Easter brings a strange feeling. The usual celebrations are not possible. You may be missing the BBQs with your friends, holiday meetings with your family, grandparents and grandchildren and the like.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP has reflected on the Easter message of hope in this time of pandemic.