It’s about this time during the season I begin notice our Easter alleluias getting a little ragged around the edges. Ministers aren’t quite as enthusiastic during the Rite of Sprinkling and we no longer chant the Concluding Rites. Presiders at daily mass stop singing “alleluia” with the Gospel acclamation. What were those alleluias all about anyway?

In the time between the Ascension and Pentecost, the disciples were once again asked to wait for something new. With joyful anticipation, I imagine some of them looking for clues, perhaps asking each other, “What was it Jesus said the last time this happened?” Today we hear Jesus in the final hours before his passion praying for his disciples and for us that we might remember what his life, death, and resurrection are about: becoming one so that we might draw all of creation into the loving embrace of the Creator.

Our Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving prepared our hearts and our communities to joyfully celebrate Christ’s victory over death. As abundant alleluias and Paschal joy begins to subside, we realize we are in a period of transition. Having spent time renewing our baptism into the Body of Christ and learning to recognize his risen presence in our lives, we recognize that we are not finished. The Holy Spirit will arrive to enable us to fulfill Jesus’ deepest desire that we become an ever-widening embodiment of Love.

As we anticipate Pentecost, how might the Easter graces we received guide where we are being invited next in our journey of faith as the Body of Christ? How might we extend ourselves, individually and as community, to be more inclusive?

—Jenéne Francis, Provincial Assistant for Pastoral Ministries, Chicago-Detroit Province and Wisconsin Province