Monday, June 2, 2014

Although Christ ascended into heaven, he remains present in a new form through the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit in order to accompany and guide people in their daily lives, Pope Francis said. Because, "by ourselves, without Jesus, we can't do anything," he said at his Regina Coeli address to those gathered in St. Peter's Square on June 1, the day the feast of the Ascension was celebrated in Italy and many other countries. The feast day comes 40 days after Easter and commemorates Jesus' ascension into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God. But some countries, like Italy, observe the feast day the following Sunday. Pope Francis said Jesus returns to heaven to open the way and "show us that the destination of our journey is the Father." But Jesus still "remains present and operates in human history with the power and gifts of his Spirit; he is by the side of each one of us; even if we don't see him with our eyes," he said.