The beauty of the triumph of Christ in His Ascension may distract us from paying attention to what He commanded to His disciples: Pray Together and wait for the promise of The Father. When some parishes have a vigil of prayer (like us), we are fulfilling that commandment.
One name of the Holy Spirit is, “The Promise”. It was John the Baptist who asked Jesus: Are you the Messiah or do we need to wait for another one (Mt 11, 3), the one that was expected. Our Pope is doing a good job, making hope real and accessible to all of us. Repeating what Saint Paul said: “we are saved by hope” (Romans 8, 24). The expectation of The Holy Spirit is deep inside the expectation of a gift, the certainty of a huge deep change that for sure is going to happen… It is the happiness that is greeting us all from afar.
In Gethsemane Jesus commanded us to pray (Mt 26:41), then at the Ascension to stay together in the Holy City of Jerusalem so that we can be baptized with The Spirit (Acts 1: 4-8) The Holy City today is The Catholic Church, because Saint Paul says that we belong to the Jerusalem of heaven not to the earthly one. (Galatians 4:26). To stay in the Church is a very specific way to fulfill what we say in the Creed: I Believe in One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. There are times in life when we are tempted to look for The Holy Spirit outside of the Church, those groups that seem to have more lively preachings and more miracles. If we act like that we will disobey Jesus. It is so important to be obedient to Jesus’s Commandments…
To pray in Jerusalem, in The Church; together with the brothers: is a way to realize that we all have the same necessities. Our Catholic Faith is not based in personal preferences or fashions. It is not an escape from reality (like we said last Sunday talking about how hard it was also for the Apostles to believe in Jesus), nor an escape from heaven, like a Gospel that is only for social promotion, it is not even an escape to our interior, thinking that we can base our faith on internal and personal feelings or our own conscience… We pray together, because we believe that The Same One (Holy Spirit), that informs, renovates, makes anew will create in ALL of US the disposition to make everything NEW.