On May 8, we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord into heaven. After 40 days of post-resurrection appearances, Jesus takes formal leave of the apostles and disciples.
The departure of loved ones is always painful because we miss their comforting and reassuring presence. However, the departure of Jesus differs remarkably from any human departure that we may have experienced.
In the Gospel for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, Jesus reveals some remarkable things. "Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling in him." Just think of it: If we fall in love with God's word, then Jesus and the Father fall in love with us, and They will come to dwell within us.
In the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, the power illustrated begins with Jesus' words at the Last Supper. "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him."
This power flows into the selection from the Acts of the Apostles, in which this power comes alive in Christ's disciples. The reading from the Book of Revelation reveals the ultimate glory of Christ's words as His disciples share in Christ's glory in heaven. This is good news for us because we share in Christ's power working the Father's glory in our hearts.
Our subconscious is a beautiful part of our being, but all too often we use it as a deposit for painful and unwanted memories. We toss bothersome memories into our unconscious because they make us feel bad.
Perhaps St. Peter's most painful memories were his denials in the courtyard when Jesus was arrested. At the last supper Peter had even boasted, "Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you."
God's mercy explodes upon the apostles in the Upper Room on Easter Sunday night when Christ appears to them in His resurrected body and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."