St. John the Apostle Virtual Church

The Ascension of the Lord - May 16, 2021 - Homily Transcript

The Ascension of the Lord

May 16, 2021

Isn’t it odd, when you think about it? When we celebrate with feast days certain events in the life of our Lord – like Christmas, Good Friday and Easter – we have particular thoughts and feelings that well up within us about them. But when it comes to the Ascension of our Lord, if I may dare to speak for others, it kind of leaves us a bit flat! Why is that?

I think in part it is because we don’t know how to relate to it? Here are a few thoughts that may help.

When we love someone, we share in their joys and sorrows. We laugh with them and we cry with them. We are happy about their successes and sad about their failures. Our love of Jesus makes us rejoice at His birth on Christmas. On Good Friday we are filled with sorrow over His passion and death. On Easter Sunday we rejoice in His resurrection. But our joy or sorrow in each of these events is as much for ourselves as for Him. In what He has done for us by His birth, death and resurrection.

With the Ascension it is different. I think our sentiments are first more for Him than for us. We are called to share in His joy at His triumphant return to His Father (Jn 14:28). The heavenly glory of which He emptied Himself when He humbled Himself to become like one of us (Phil 2:6-11) is now restored.

We rejoice that His crown of thorns has been replaced with a crown of glory; that the mocking crowds at Golgotha have been replaced with myriads of adoring angels.

But the Feast of the Ascension is also about us. Jesus has gone ahead of us to prepare a place for us. “In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, so that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn. 14:1-3).

It reminds us that death does not end our lives. It transforms them. We leave this temporary realm to enter the eternal. We think of this world as our home, and it is, but only for a season. Our true home is with God (Phil. 3:20). And in His Ascension Christ has gone ahead of us to Heaven to prepare for our arrival.

Thoughts of our own death, or the reality of the death of a loved one, naturally fill us with fear or grief. But Christ has given us supernatural hope. By His resurrection and Ascension He has conquered death and opened the gates of Heaven for us (see 2 Peter 1:11).

And this brings up a further significance to His Ascension. At the incarnation the Son of God took upon Himself a human nature that He received through the Blessed Virgin Mary. But He does not abandon that human nature upon His return to His Father. He takes it with Him. The body with which Christ preached and worked miracles until exhausted, the body with which He ate and slept and journeyed, the body with which He drew followers to Himself, the body with which He suffered, died and rose, He takes with Him. Why is that important?

Because that human body now shares in His glory. The Son of God has retained His human nature making it possible for us to share in His glory also. He participated in our nature so that we might participate in His! “For you … have received a spirit of adoption…. we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Rm. 8:15-17)

In the meantime, while we are here, we prepare ourselves, make ourselves presentable, as those who are privileged to be invited to the wedding banquet of the Lord (see Mt. 22:1-14).

But for us to endure until that blessed moment, we need God’s help. And that is another reason why we ought to rejoice in Christ’s Ascension. He takes His place at the right hand of the Father where He continually intercedes on our behalf. He pleads on our behalf! “Consequently He is able for all time to save those who approach God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).

Finally, Christ Ascended so that the Holy Spirit might descend upon His Church. As He told His apostles, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (Jn 16:7). But that is a homily for another day.

God bless.


UPDATE: Due to New Announced Provincial Government Restrictions

Weekend and Weekday masses are cancelled as of Monday, April 19th.

We will continue to videotape the weekend Mass.


Sunday 9am-10am. Please click here to read important information before attending.

Please continue to check back here regularly for more updates.



Saturdays, 4:30pm

or upon request


My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You.


Easter Message

We have lived through an extraordinary year since Lent 2020. It has made us aware of just how precious are the ordinary people and things in our lives that we often took for granted. It has also demonstrated more than ever the importance of faith. In the midst of a crisis, with the fear and uncertainty it can bring, we can take to heart the words spoken by Moses to Joshua: “Be strong and bold…. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deut. 31:7,8).

For what we are experiencing now will one day pass. But what will never pass is what Easter Sunday commemorates. For it celebrates the day that changed the world forever. The day Christ showed us that death could not hold Him and the grave could not keep Him. The day He broke our bondage to sin and death and gave us new life in Him. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." (1 Peter 1:3).

And so, the significance of Easter is not something we celebrated for just a single day, or only for its liturgical season of seven weeks, but every day. For “we are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song” (St. Augustine).

Below I have copied a poem and linked a moving song and video.

May the good Lord bless you and all those you love with His peace and presence this Easter and beyond. Christ is Risen! Indeed, He is Risen! Alleluia!

Fr Lindsay Harrison


St John the Apostle Parish


Christ is our Way, our Truth, our Life:

The Way through strife and sin to bliss,

Dear Truth we kiss as faithful wife,

Our new-born Life in death's abyss.

Christ is our Prophet, Priest, and King:

A Prophet's spring of cleansing grace,

High Priest to place our offering,

The righteous King of all our race.

Christ is the Son, the Word, the Lamb:

Both Son of Man and God, who gave

His Word to save and not to damn,

A slaughtered Lamb to end the grave.

Christ is our Joy, our Light, our Peace:

Our Joy's increase until complete,

A Light most sweet that will not cease,

The Prince of Peace we hail and greet.

O Christ, our Healer, Savior, Lord:

Christ, Healer for deaf, blind, and dumb,

Christ, Savior from the demon horde,

Be praised, O Lord-of-lords to come!

by Stephen Wentworth Arndt, Ph.D.

The Parish Office remains closed until further notice.

Telephone messages and emails will be answered.

If you or someone you know needs Anointing of the Sick, individual Confession, or has another pressing pastoral need I am available.

Simply call the office (613-829-1760).

Keep well, God bless,

Fr. Lindsay Harrison


Be Healthy * Be Smart * Be Holy

Can we pray for you?

Prayer Intentions

  • For the people in the world who are struggling with coping with their daily lives

  • We pray for the mental, emotional well-being of all who have to stay home during this time—especially parents, students and other home bound workers.

  • We pray for the repose of the soul of Michael King and his family. May he Rest In Peace.

  • We pray for the intercession of our Mother Mary, to ask for the safety and protection in battling against the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus, here and around the world

  • For the protection, health, courage and fortitude of our front-line workers, health-care providers and those serving others in the public: in Thanksgiving, we pray for all of them and their families.

  • Please pray for the health of our dear CWL sister, Sadie Stephens. May God continue to give her strength and peace.

  • Please pray for all women and girls in the world; may God always give them courage, love, strength and fortitude to take care of themselves and others.

  • We pray for all those who have died from and those who got sick, survived and who are now living through the after effects of the Covid-19 Coronavirus...may God continue to watch over them.

  • Please pray for our CWL sister, Pearl Synek and her family. May she rest in peace.

  • For our brothers and sisters in Valleystream Manor, West-End Villa, Redwoods and other area Senior's residences and Long-Term Care faciliities - may God continue to watch over and help them all.

  • For the soul of our dear CWL sister, Sheila Berrea; Please pray for her family and that God's peace always be with her.

  • Please pray for all those families who have lost loved ones during the Covid19 pandemic and have not been able to hold funerals and Christian burial. May the hearts of the survivors heal and may the souls of the deceased be welcomed into heavenly peace with God.

  • Please pray for those participating in our upcoming online Catholicism Video Series - May God help them grow in their faith.

  • Please pray for our Mom/Bellemaman as she transitions into a different Senior's Residence; may she feel God's peace, trust and love.

  • Please pray for the victims of the house fire in Oxford Mills.

  • Please pray for all Christians who suffer persecution or who have died because of their beliefs and faith. May God's love continue to shine through them.

  • Please pray for the soul of our CWL sister, Rita Kamar and her family. May her soul rest in God's peace.

  • Please pray for all care-partners and front-line workers who provide support for all of us.

  • Please pray for those who are missing their loved ones who they have lost this year—for the souls of our departed friends and family


An email scam targeting members of Catholic churches and institutions across Canada is active in the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. In some places, the scam is transmitted by text messages.

Typically, someone purporting to be a priest—or even a bishop—sends an email with a plea for electronic gift cards, notably untraceable iTunes gift cards, to be sent to another address so that they may be given to someone in need or used for a fundraising event. In some cases, the scammers take the act a step further: they ask the victim to scratch the backs of the cards and give them the revealed PIN to allow them to access the cash value.

The scam has been previously reported by several other dioceses in Canada and the US, and there are reports of parishioners who have lost money to a fraudster pretending to be the pastor of a parish. One Ottawa parishioner sent $1,100 to a fraudster pretending to be their parish priest.

If you receive such an email message or text, confirm it is genuine before responding in any way; it is likely a scam. Exercise caution when checking email messages. If the request seems at all unusual, check the email address on the message–often, it will not be the person’s genuine address. Even if it does look genuine, always verify suspect messages by phoning the sender on a known phone number (not the phone number in the suspect message). Do not trust your call display; fraudsters send false numbers and identities over phone lines. Do not use gift cards to fund a charitable cause or a plea for help. Always keep your receipts. Visit for more cautions.

If you have been targeted and purchased gift cards, try to cancel them as soon as possible. Ask for a refund or an exchange for new cards issued. Report the theft to police and

Here is an example of these email messages:

Subject: Peace Unto You

Hi,how are you doing?

I need a favor from you, email me as soon as you get this message.

God Bless,

Fr. ____


When the targeted person replies, they get this message:

Subject: Re: Peace Unto You

OK. I'm in a meeting right now, that's why i'm contacting you through here. I should have call you instead of mailing you but phones are not allowed to be use during meeting, I really don't know when the meeting will be rounding up so can you help me to get an iTunes gift card worth $400 at $100 or $50 denominations for a friend of mine going through cancer in the hospital. He needs the cards to download his favorite musics and videos to boost his confidence on his next phase of surgery and fight over cancer which he's going to undergo today but i can't do this now.

Can you get it from any store around you now? I will pay back as soon as i can. Thanks

God bless,

Fr. ____


Be prudent!

Please check out our web site for different ways you can continue contributing to our parish. You can mail in your cheque, E-Transfer your donation, subscribe to our Pre-Authorized Donation (PAD) and we also have donations through

As we are all affected by COVID-19, this virtual church site was established to enhance communication among parishioners during this time of self-isolation.