We live in very interesting times. We see values which are the basis of our civilization being destroyed on a daily basis. But we Christians should not be surprized. Christian principles only make sense in the context of a living experience of Jesus Christ. St Paul wrote, “If there is no resurrection from the dead, then Christians are the most miserable of people.”

Many people do not believe in the Resurrection nor the Ascension of Jesus, or anything that Jesus gives or teaches us. Their concept of Christ is more orientated towards a God who serves them here and now.

The world is changing before our eyes. But we still want to walk on solid ground. Some are wanting a world where everything is permitted in an everchanging society and expect that its’ values and rules should be changed to reflect their personal current thoughts.

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Jesus says, “if you love me, keep my commandments.”

We need the resurrection and the ascension of Jesus Christ and we need to receive the Holy spirit because it assures us that God also raises us, not only from the grave and from the abyss, but gives us eternal life.

We sometimes do not expect enough from ourselves and others. Our dreams are not dignified enough.  The Ascension of our Lord teaches us to expect more from life. We are an icon of God. We have an immortal life. We are ultimately not created just for our life on earth. The coming of the Holy Spirit is important to us because it tells us that we are filled with confidence that God is within us.

Our God is not a Jesus who only teaches us and is a good model for a good life and our political ideas. Our God is more than just a list of rules. This world cannot give us victory over death. It cannot resurrect us to eternal life.

The Holy Spirit will give us the confidence we can achieve which God tells us that we will achieve.

There are people who want a God who always agrees with them, thinks like them and upholds the social and political ideals that we hold.

Our modern culture, mass media, always has those to tell us that our God is different to the Lord who is given to us in the scripture and preached about in the church.

Our martyrs and saints did not die out of loyalty to a human teacher.

Our humanity is based on us being an image and likeness of God.

We can not ascend with Jesus to heaven without being in unity of what our faith teaches us.

Jesus does not leave us on our own. In faith and prayer and desire to be with God, we can achieve those ideals, as long as we set our vision high enough and not merely on a human level. The Holy Spirit will give us the confidence we can achieve which God tells us that we will achieve.

Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM

This article was published in The Church and Life Newspaper

This post is also available in: Ukrainian