The Ascension of the Lord marks a turning point in the life of the early Church. It signifies the transition which
takes place when the Lord leaves His disciples, but with the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus leaves, but He does not leave them alone. He is still present with us today, especially in the Blessed Sacrament. And the Holy Spirit continues to strengthen His Church.
Next Sunday the Church celebrates the closing of the Easter season with the Solemnity of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Blessed Mother, the Apostles, and the disciples of the Lord. To help us observe the coming of the "Fire of the Holy Spirit", I invite everyone to wear something red to Mass next Sunday.
Many Catholics are aware of the practice among some evangelical Protestants of having an “altar call”, in which those who wish to make a new spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ are invited to come forward publicly. It is so named because the supplicants gather at the altar located at the front of the church building. We Catholics have been doing this for a long time. But we come forward to also receive the Holy Eucharist, the true Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Since the Sacrifice of the Lord is offered on the Altar, we come to the Altar to receive Him in Holy Communion. To preserve this significant custom, I invite those who have difficulty making their way forward at Communion time to sit in the front pew (either side) so that they might receive “at the Altar”.
May God bless you!