This Thursday, 13 May 2021, would normally be a Holy Day of Obligation. It is the feast of the Lord’s Ascension, when at the end of His earthly life and mission Jesus ascended into heaven (cf. Acts 1: 1-11).
The Ascension, as St. John Paul II put it, “indicates the goal to which personal and universal history is hastening”, namely, to the glory of heaven. We are bound for heaven, and the Ascension of Christ reminds us to fix our gaze on Him in glory, as we labour tirelessly for Him here on Earth.
On Ascension Thursday, we also begin the Pentecost Novena, with Mary, Peter and the Apostles in the Upper Room, for the Coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Church’s mission to the world. Adveniat regnum tuum we pray in the Our Father: ‘Thy Kingdom come.’ During this Novena, Catholics are invited to join with Anglican and other Christians in the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ initiative. Just as in January we have the Week of Prayer for the Unity of Christians, so in this week, we join ecumenically with our brother and sister Christians in the other communities to pray for the mission of the Church and the spread of the Gospel in our land.
During this novena, why not pray each day the great Prayer to the Holy Spirit for this intention:
and enkindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created,
and You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit,
did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
grant that by the gifts of the same Spirit,
they may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.