As we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus let us celebrate the presence of the Risen One in our midst! Before his ascension Jesus gave a clear command and mission to his disciples…to us. We are charged with preaching the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and to be that healing, loving and welcoming presence in a world filled with sickness, hatred and exclusion. Filled with the “real presence we are sent forth to stand up and be the voice of the voiceless, to speak out on behalf of those who are silenced or ignored, to make sure that hatred, racism and bigotry are not left unchecked. Filled with the Spirit we speak the truth of the Gospel to power, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether garnering us friends or marginalizing us, it is our call as disciples of Jesus Christ! How might I be a “healing, loving and welcoming presence”? How can I “stand up” for the Gospel, in the public arena and in my personal life? How do I experience the real presence of God in my daily life?