In this homily preached on the Solemnity of the Ascension, Father Dave begins by talking about the disciples receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, and asking the congregation what they might have felt. He puts the congregation in the shoes of the disciples, who wondered what would come next after Jesus left them.
Father Dave tells the congregation that prior to Mass, the church rang its bells 21 times to honor the 21 lives lost in the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He highlights the discourse that frequently arises following mass shootings in our country: Thoughts and prayers are not enough.
“As Catholics, we believe that both thoughts and prayers and action are important,” Father Dave says. “What we are being called to do, sometimes by secular leaders or people on the internet, is what Jesus was reminding us of at the Ascension. Pray for a few days…some of us believers think we are still just supposed to be praying in that upper room. That is not only what Jesus calls us to do.”
Father Dave reminds the congregation that they should also be taking action. He encourages us to roll up our sleeves, and consider what we can do to help and make sure that such tragedies never happen again.
“We can and must be Christ’s disciples and apostles on this earth.” Father Dave implores.
“It is no time to rest on our laurels at this time in our Church’s and our nation’s history. Thoughts and prayers and action are what we are called to do by Jesus our Lord… Pray for those who are tragically suffering, but work for change.”
Preached at Saint Paul the Apostle Church, New York City on 5-26-22.
Image from CNS