It’s Ascension Thursday. “We have LIFT-OFF !” We also have a public holiday, one of the many in a country with a 35-hour work week, five weeks minimum annual vacation for everyone, and long weekends made possible by what others call “bank holidays” on Monday (like our Pentecost Monday). No one remembers or cares that the reason for the day off (the “holi-day”) was to be able to fulfill one’s duty of going to Mass on one of the eight Holy Days of Obligation (to miss Mass was a mortal sin, as on Sundays).
If the question were asked on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire ?”, most candidates would pick the reason for the Feast of the Ascension as the conquering of Everest, the first flight of the Sputnik or perhaps the perpetual plight of poor old Sisyphus. But more important is the fact that even practising Catholics surely do not believe that Jesus really did a vertical take-off alone and unassisted by NASA. If they don’t believe it, they are BOTB, Believers on the Brink. Abandon just one article of faith and you qualify as one of the target-readership of this blog. If believing in the Ascension is asinine (or equestrian : the Prophet went up there on a horse), what about the rest ? Your call, my friend.