After witnessing the Ascension of Christ, the disciples travel to Jerusalem for the Jewish feast of Shavuot. Shavuot is a Jewish agricultural holiday, translated in ancient Greek as “Pentecost.” Gathered together for on the fiftieth day since the Lord’s resurrection, the disciples were amazed as God poured out the Holy Spirit upon them, in an episode of violent wind and fiery tongues. Saint Peter interpreted this event for those gathered and the church was born.
Ascension Day held significant meaning for the early Church who believed that the physical ascension of our Lord into heaven was a visible reminder of God’s authority in Christ. The Ascension means that God has not only raised the crucified Christ from the dead, but that God has also given the crucified Christ authority and power.
The road to Emmaus is about trusting our burning hearts and seeing Jesus along the way, in the places we least expect, and especially in the faces of our friends and neighbors. The Emmaus story is about seeing Jesus in the Eucharist, in the breaking of bread, and in the love of God that binds us into one risen body.
The gospel for the Second Sunday of Easter is the familiar story of the disciples in a locked room after Christ’s Resurrection. The Apostle Thomas is skeptical that Jesus is alive after witnessing his painful death.
In Holy Week, we witness our Lord’s suffering and death, the darkness and abandonment of the tomb, the despair of sin, rejection, and betrayal. Easter, however, leads us out of despair and into hope, out of the tomb and into new life. Read this week’s reflection.
“Be sure to come to church, because this is who we are.”
Read this week’s column by the Associate Rector.
In my first two weeks, as your Associate Rector I have witnessed the ways in which St. Peter’s has been a beacon of light and hope in our city. I have learned of your rich history of being a parish of radical welcome and justice for the most vulnerable in our society, and the ways in which our parish in continuing this gospel work. Again, and again I have heard of the ways in which various parishioners are modeling hope in the context of our society’s fear and anxiety.