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A message from Bishop Brewer for Sunday, May 24, 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Rather than focusing on the Propers assigned for this Sunday (The Seventh Sunday of Easter), I have preached a message focused on the Gospel passage for Ascension Day (Luke 24:44-53). In my homily, I also make reference to John Updike’s poem Seven Stanzas at Easter.
When I think of the Ascension, what comes to mind for me is the word “trajectory” – not just in terms of a final destination from earth to heaven, but also a course for life. To fit within the context of our own rational way of thinking, however, many of us want to disempower many of the miracles of the New Testament such as the Ascension. The Lord invites us into a relationship with him in which we trust him completely and wholeheartedly even in the face of things we do not understand.
In verses 50-53 of the Ascension Day Gospel passage, Luke describes the joy with which the disciples are filled after witnessing Christ’s Ascension: “Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up in to heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.” It is with this same joy and excitement of the disciples that I would encourage us all to set aside our rational questions and celebrate that “God has gone up with a shout” (Psalm 47:5), rejoicing in the knowledge that he will lead the way to his heavenly kingdom.
Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Grace to you,
Gregory O. Brewer
Bishop Brewer's Homily for
Third Sunday of Easter: