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He Ascended into Heaven

Today we as a Church celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, some 40 days after his Resurrection and we look back remembering all that he taught us, all that he sacrificed for our salvation. Jesus returns to his Father having completed the task his Father set forth, that he would suffer and die so the sins of humanity might be forgiven. God, our Father, sent his own Son to be the ultimate sacrifice, that we might live in eternal happiness. We can only imagine what it was like for the Apostles to see Jesus ascending into heaven.

We can only imagine how they were feeling and the questions that may have risen in their hearts and minds. This Teacher, this Friend, this Man who is God, now gone from their sight. And so began an era of time when our Lord would not be physically present to his people, and we continue to live that era today. As a people of God, convinced of the Truth spoken by the Son of God, we await the second coming of Jesus. Until such time Jesus promised a helper, a paraclete, the Holy Spirit, and he said to his friends and to all people, “I am with you always until the end of time.” I love those words, the promise of Jesus to always be with us. How comforting to know that wherever we are, he is there too. We will end the Easter season next week as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, gifting them with wisdom and knowledge and courage to continue to spread the Good News of the Risen Lord. Pentecost marks the beginning of what we know today as the Catholic Church. Jesus sent forth his Apostles to bring all people into relationship with God through him. He truly is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Seasons come and season go, in our faith life as well as in our everyday living. Each new season brings new possibilities and many changes. Some changes we embrace for they can bring new life and some changes are difficult as we grieve what has passed and are uncertain of what our future holds. However, as seasons and life experiences change, one thing remains, God is with us always. I share with you today that I am retiring at the end of

May and leaving my position here at St. Francis Xavier. I am so grateful to this entire faith community for the privilege of serving as your Pastoral Associate. I will always remember how I was welcomed, embraced, supported, and encouraged. I learned so much from all of you and I thank you sincerely for you have blessed my life. It was an honor to share eight years of my faith journey with you and I will remember you in prayer asking God to bless this community as you continue to live our shared faith in Jesus Christ. Sincerely and with much gratitude,

Deb Rudolph

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