We arrive at the fiftieth day ‑ the completion of the Easter Season, and the completion of the Paschal Mystery: the Lord has died, is risen, has ascended to heaven and now gives birth to his Church, by sending the Spirit upon the apostles. This feast of the gift of the Spirit is so significant for us, because it marks the handing on of Jesus’ ministry to the Church ‑ in the Church we are guaranteed the presence of the Lord, in his sacraments, in his ministers, in the Blessed Sacrament and in his Celebrated Word.
It also marks the fulfilment of our thoughts about baptism throughout this season: the gift of the Spirit which we receive in Confirmation is the `seal’ of our baptism, guaranteeing and confirming all that baptism achieves.
“World Communications Day”
Day of Prayer for the Right Use of the Media
Ascension in not just a feast that happens to fall in Eastertide: it is an integral part of the Easter mystery. Remember the Lord’s words at the Last Supper: “I am going to prepare a place for, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me.” The resurrection presumes the Lord’s return to the Father. This is therefore a feast of hope: our hope in the Lord’s return, as he went. Our hope that he will take us with him, when our bodies are raised as his was. Our hope that we will take our place in heaven, where he sits on the Father’s right.
Chosen by the apostles to take the place of Judas Iscariot, so that the number of apostles might remain as twelve. Tradition has it that Matthias went on to preach in Ethiopia.
On this day in 1535 there died at Tyburn three Carthusian monks, the first of many martyrs. Of these martyrs, forty-two have been canonised and a further 242 declared blessed, but the number of those who died on the scaffold, perished in prison, or suffered harsh persecution for their faith in the course of a century and a half cannot now be reckoned. They came from every walk of life; there are among them rich and poor, married and single, women and men. They are remembered for the example they gave of constancy in their faith, and courage in the face of persecution.