Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus into heaven.  The reality of Christ’s Ascension is so important that the creeds (the basic statements of belief) of Christianity all affirm, in the words of the Apostles’ Creed, that “He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.” The denial of the Ascension is as grave a departure from Christian teaching as is denial of Christ’s Resurrection.  Christ’s bodily Ascension foreshadows our own entrance into Heaven not simply as souls, after our death, but as glorified bodies, after the resurrection of the dead at the Final Judgment. In redeeming mankind, Christ not only offered salvation to our souls but began the restoration of the material world itself to the glory that God intended before Adam’s fall.  FYI: Several years ago many of the bishops of the United States chose to move the feast from the Thursday of the sixth week of Easter to the Seventh Sunday of Easter so that more people could easily celebrate this important feast by participating at Mass.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, a time for us to remember all who have sacrificed their lives in the service and protection of our freedom and our lives.  Over the years, many women and men have laid down their lives all over the world so that we, in this great land of ours, might live in peace and freedom.  Please remember them in your prayers so that their sacrifice may always be appreciated and bear fruit.  Mass will be at 9 AM in the church; a very good way to begin the celebration of this very special day.

This is the time of the year for graduations and commencement exercises for many young people.  Many will graduate from grade school, high school, and colleges, and they will be ending a part of their lives, but more importantly they are beginning a new part of their lives. This is a very happy and proud time for these graduates and their families as well as their communities.  We all play a part in the education and growth of our young people especially in the ways of faith. The challenge for anyone beginning a new part of their life is always the question of how does God fit into all of these new beginnings.  Our graduates must be encouraged to always make a place for God in their lives no matter where they go or what they do.  When so many things around us change there is always the temptation to forget how God still needs to be in one’s life.  As we congratulate all those graduating from our Sacred Heart School, our local Catholic and public high schools, and from various colleges and universities we need to assure them that God is always with them.  The only way for them to remember that is through prayer and the sacraments; especially Holy Mass and the reception of Holy Communion.  Please pray for all our graduates so that they may always be very mindful of God’s love and presence in their lives.

Next Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost.  At all the Masses you will have the opportunity to express your interest in becoming involved in any of the parish organizations and/or ministries by filling out a form that you will find in the pew.  Please take this week to pray to the Holy Spirit to guide you in discerning how God would like you to better serve the Church and your parish family.  You can find information concerning the parish organizations and ministries by going to the parish web site: shofjesus.com.   Don’t forget to wear something RED to Mass next week.

The Feast of Corpus Christi is on Sunday, June 19th.  We will again have an outdoor procession with the Blessed Sacrament after the 10:30 AM Mass, weather providing.  This is a wonderful opportunity for us to gather and publicly express our devotion to and our belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.  Please plan to join us for this very special time of prayer.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: THE FEAST OF THE SACRED HEART WILL BE CELEBRATED ON SUNDAY, JUNE 26, WITH A MASS AT 5:00 PM FOLLOWED BY A PARISH COOKOUT TO BE HELD IN THE PAVILION IN THE NORTH PARKING LOT BY THE WAREHOUSE, WEATHER PERMITTING.  WE WILL PROVIDE THE HAMBURGERS AND HOT DOGS AND WE ASK THOSE ATTENDING TO BRING A  DISH TO SHARE. FAMILY NAME A – M, PLEASE BRING A SIDE DISH.  FAMILY NAME N – Z, PLEASE BRING A DESSERT TO SHARE.  THERE WILL BE BEER AND MUSIC, AS WELL AS GAMES FOR THE KIDS.  SO PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND WITH YOUR FAMILIES.  IF ANYONE HAS ANY IDEAS ON OTHER THINGS WE CAN DO AT THE PARISH PICNIC, LET ME KNOW.  SO PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: JUNE 26 AT 5:00 PM.