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Twelve Days and Counting: Weekly Message for 5-23-17
Dear Friends in Christ,
Allow me to ask a potentially embarrassing question. At least it’s by e-mail so no one can see you blush. Do you realize that it is still Easter? Easter Sunday was thirty-seven days ago, but the Easter season still has twelve days to go. We’re at twelve days and counting. The Easter season is a time for remembering that the Risen Lord spent an extended time with his disciples before the Ascension, which is why Ascension Thursday is forty days after Easter Sunday. Our Lord will “lift off” in a few days, but that is just the beginning of another important countdown: the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles at Pentecost, ten days later, just as Our Lord promised.
Twelve is a significant number in Sacred Scripture. Israel, constituted by the Lord, consisted of twelve tribes. When Our Lord chose twelve disciples to be Apostles he was doing so in continuity with the twelve tribes of Israel which, in his time, had been reduced to only a few. All twelve tribes would be restored in the future. Israel, the People of God, was the kernel of the new People of God, and the Apostles connected one with the other.
Peter in the upper room, after the Ascension, decided that Judas needed to be replaced: Eleven were not enough, it had to be Twelve, because that’s what Our Lord wanted. Even then the Holy Spirit was preparing the Twelve for their “lift off”: with Our Lord Ascended into Heaven it was time for them to roll and start spreading the Good News of the Resurrection.
We have a few more days to ask Our Lord for a deeper experience of his new life before it’s time for us to roll. The Good News is above all that Christ has conquered death for all of us. Let’s get ready to continue to spread the word. Consider the retreat guides Unleashing the Power of Pentecost, The Strength of Thousands, or Be Not Afraid to stoke up your apostolic zeal for the return to Ordinary Time. The Spirit will give us that extra oomph we need.