Ascension Church

Homily May 20, 2018


I. Sometimes we have to wait. And wait. And wait.


The disciples were waiting, holed up in the upper room, waiting until the time for Pentecost was fulfilled. They had waited fifty days—seven weeks—since the resurrection of Jesus, not having a clue what their future held. They were waiting for a revelation about what they should be about, totally dependent upon the outpouring of God’s spirit. They weren’t going to do anything until the coming of the Spirit.


And on the fiftieth day, the Spirit came. What most astonished the crowd was not all the commotion of the strong driving wind and tongues of fire, but the fact that, although each spoke in a different language, those who were listening heard them in their own language. That was the sign of what they should be about.


We had a Pentecost moment in our Unity Mass last weekend on the Feast of the Ascension. No matter the language one spoke, whether the Creed, or the Our Father, or our “Ay-mens” or “Ah-mens,” we understood one another. That was a sign of what we should be about. It pointed to the truth of our Mission Statement that we are a safe, loving, holy place where all are invited to recognize, acknowledge, and live God’s presence.

II. The late Harvard preacher, Peter Gomes, suggests that, with the advent of the Spirit at Pentecost, diversity ceased to be a curse and became a blessing. The power of the Spirit transcended national and ethnic differences and created an understanding, a unity, a communion among peoples that neither eliminated nor diminished their diversity. In conceding that the Spirit was given to all, that all were “made to drink of one Spirit,” the peoples of the Church became more than they had been. They began to understand that God wanted them all to participate in His plan, each making a unique, irreplaceable contribution.

III. French philosopher and theologian, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, writes,


The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, human beings will have discovered fire.


Add that to our Mission Statement: We will harness for God the energies of love, and discover fire.
h/t: Mary McGlone, Jim Wallis