Friday, May 22, 2009


Yesterday was the feast of the Ascension.

The Ascension is supposed to be glorious, but it strikes me as sad. I know (and agree with) all the theological justifications for why Jesus can't hang around forever, but still.

So I walked into church already a bit gloomy and sat down with the other four parishioners. The number didn't help my mood.

Fr. Nicholas delivered his sermon. Which was excellent, of course. But his remarks on the attendance particularly stood out. He pointed out how thousands of people crossed the threshold on Easter, and only a handful remain; Yet the handful are as important as the thousands, and the thousands as important as the handful.

Besides, he said, the church is full of angels - if only we could see them.


Davis said...

Fr Nicholas is right about the numbers. You, too, are right about there being a wiff of sadness in the air.

It's something I note when the candle is extinguished at the end of the Gospel (yeah, we still do that) and I watched the bit of smoke rising into the heights of the nave. Very melancholy - and thinking of the followers of Our Lord - how very sad and confused they must have been - waiting for the descent of the Holy Spirit.

But descend the Spirit did - and does.

Thom Curnutte said...

And not only that, but we still do have Jesus with us, in two ways: in his Gospel, and in his Body and Blood.

That is a comfort.

tamie said...

I love how understated this post is. I love the last line.

eric said...

Thanks, Tamie - I feel an artistic iclination towards the understated lately! Dunno why.

Thanks Davis and Thom. It is sometimes hard to trust those promises, but you're so right!