ASCENSION SUNDAY: Archbishop Costelloe: ‘Always have one eye fixed on Heaven’
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB celebrated the Solemnity of the Ascension on Sunday 24 May at 11am from the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish House. Photo: Jamie O'Brien.
The Solemnity of the Ascension, celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB on 24 May, served as “a great reminder of the precious gift of life and the reward of eternal life, offered by Jesus to His people”.
Hundreds participated in the 11am Mass livestreamed via the Archdiocesan website and social media channels from the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish House and concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton.
In his homily, Archbishop Costelloe expressed the importance of the Solemnity of the Ascension and salvation, which Christ promises us at the end of our journey.
“The return of Jesus to his Father in Heaven, whom Jesus himself has taught us to call our Father, shows us that as human beings we belong in Heaven,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“It is our home, it is the destination to which God is inviting us – it is the place where we will finally be fully at home and at peace.
“The man Jesus, who was and is at the same time the eternal God, returned to His Father to take His rightful place, and in doing so claimed Heaven as the natural and rightful home of every human being,” he added.
St Mary’s Cathedral cantor Grace Feltoe contribute her vocals at the Solemnity of the Ascension Mass on Sunday, 24 May in the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish House. Photo: Jamie O'Brien.
Although as believers, we have the privilege of calling Heaven our home, Archbishop Costelloe noted that God does not ask us to live our lives as if all that matters is our future with Him in Heaven.
“Rather, Jesus asks us to live our lives now, in this world, with integrity, with fidelity, with enthusiasm and with love,” Archbishop explained.
“The world is a precious gift to us and we are called to receive and accept this gift with gratitude; it is the place in which we will find God, come to know Him, and be able to serve Him.
“Even more, the people we love are precious gifts from God whom we are called to love and cherish. In loving them we learn to love God and this love, we will carry with us into our home in Heaven,” he stated.
Archbishop Costelloe then encouraged the congregation viewing from their homes to live a life of love, generous self-giving and of joy in God's creation, just as Jesus did.
“The way we live our lives, and the way we love, will also determine what we carry with us when we, too, come to the place Jesus has prepared for us,” Archbishop Costelloe cited.
“Today’s feast invites us to always have one eye fixed on Heaven, and at the same time to live each day of our lives as a precious and wonderful gift from God through which we are preparing ourselves, and those we love, for all that God has in store for us.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe and Bishop Donald Sproxton celebrated the Solemnity of the Ascension on 24 May in the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish House. Photo: Jamie O'Brien.
At the end of Mass, the Perth Archbishop joined Bishops from across Australia in entrusting the nation to the care of Mary Help of Christians, a day early, for her feast day – especially during this time of crisis.
Archbishop Costelloe began the prayer by committing all members of the community, beginning from the “weakest ones”.
“From the unborn, to the sick, the disabled and the elderly,” Archbishop Costelloe implored. “We commit to you, our families, young and old and all those who are vulnerable.
Solemnity of the Ascension was celebrated on Sunday 24 May at 11am from the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish House. Photo: Jamie O’Brien.
“Those who are quarantined or anxious and we entrust those who have lost their livelihood or employment, our pastors and other essential service workers, and our leaders,” he added.
Archbishop Costelloe then welcomed the intercession of Mother Mary for the protection of doctors and nurses, and all those who administer to the contagious sick during the crisis.
“Reign over us Mother of God, and teach us how to make the heart of Jesus reign in triumph in us and around us as, it has reigned and triumphed in you, Lord.”