Fr Sean Melody - Final Homily 17th May 2015


Ascension of the Lord May 17, 2015

Most of us her are old enough to remember the times when Ascension Day was celebrated on a Thursday. In those days, a priest friend of mine was celebrating Mass for the pupils of a secondary school. A sixth year student stood near the exit door during the Mass and was quietly observed by one of her teachers. Throughout, she examined her fingernails, folded the hymn sheet in many different ways and eventually took a serious perusal of her diary. When the Mass ended, the teacher delicately suggested to the girl that the Ascension didn’t seem to mean much to her. Why should we celebrate his going away, she asked, HE hasn’t come here

Think about it. In saying farewell to loved ones in emigration or in death, the sadness is usually tinged with the thankfulness for having known them. Their physical presence made a difference, their memory inspires us still.
Is this true of the way we remember Jesus?

Is he just a historical figure or a living reality?

Has he come here yet – to you?

Was the young girl right in her comment?

DO our lives betray that we know Jesus?

Or is he a prisoner in the church building, limited to the time we give in public worship and prayer?
The danger is that we wear the badge, rather than live the life - and by living in that way we inevitably leave out some of the essentials. No one can be a substitute for the job that God has called me to do. You and I are irreplaceable. So, let’s be signs of counter culture and contradiction for the world of modern Ireland, not contradictions of the Christians sign – that sadly many Catholics are right now!
In today’s gospel, Jesus stands between heaven and earth, he empowered his friends to take up the story and write new chapters with their own hands. They did this through blood, sweat and tears – but also with joy and hope in their hearts.

Today, we are standing in a world of conflicting hope and despair, with the awesome opportunities and dreadful possibilities. We are asked to be people to write a new chapter for this time, for this age – for this community with blood, sweat and tears but also with a joy in our hearts

Are you and I ready for the invitation and the challenge? If you and I can possess what St Paul calls the mind of Christ Jesus, and live out of that mind, then we will change the world. As a Christian preacher I have no more important news to share with you.

Are you and I peopling of the Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension or Maybe HE hasn’t come here yet?