The month of graduation holds a mixture of glad and sad feelings. Glad, because one part of our formal education has been successfully completed. And sad, because we will not be together with our classmates in the same way again. The future is exciting, but we may also feel some anxiety about what lies ahead. Another name for graduation is commencement, and this name emphasizes new opportunities, new doors opening into the unknown future. The disciples of Jesus must have also had mixed feelings when Jesus left them at the Ascension. They too were in an awkward, in-between place, feeling Jesus’ absence but not yet strengthened by his gift of the Holy Spirit. They had to trust that he would keep his promise to be with them in a new way. When Pentecost came, they were not disappointed—they were filled with new life and energy. Do I—do we—have courage to let go of the familiar, so that we can receive the new life waiting for us?
By Delores Dufner, OSB