In a year that our parish has had to say goodbye to pillars and long-time elders and friends, the feast of the ascension holds particular relevance for us this year. The disciples and followers of Jesus must continue on without his day to day presence. No more seeing his smile, hearing his voice, showing up at worship and seeing him in his long held place. A life has been shared long and lovingly with persons who were the icons of strength, faithfulness, and friendship…but now they are no longer with us. And yet….how can life so deeply shared ever be absent?

I think the community that had surrounded Jesus became something with him, and became something other after him. Jesus’ influence and life left an indelible mark on the life of his community. The same can be said about those whom we have loved but who no longer are with us. Our lives have changed because they shared it. We are left to continue in our way all that they taught and showed us in their way.