SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS.
And the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God. – Mark 16:19
For 40 days after his resurrection on Easter Sunday, the Bible says that Jesus travelled and preached with his apostles, preparing them for his departure from Earth. Ascension Day marks the moment Jesus literally ascended into heaven before his disciples, at the village of Bethany, near Jerusalem.
When Christ ascended into heaven, he did not leave his human nature behind. He brought that nature, our human nature, into heaven with him. The Son of God did not leave us orphans. He still has his human nature, and still bears the wounds of his passion in the kingdom of heaven.
By bringing his human nature into heaven, Jesus Christ opened paradise for the human family. With a glorified human body and a human soul, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity sits at the right hand of God the Father for all eternity. This incorporation of the human and the divine makes him our presence in eternity and the mediator between God and humanity.
This is the pressing and inspiring lesson of the ascension. It touches the core of the Christian faith, our own dignity as human beings, and the life available to us after death. It is a strong reminder to us of how greatly we are loved and how intensely God desires fellowship with us.
Gladden us with holy joys, Almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and, where the Head has gone before in glory, the Body is called to follow in hope.
Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord, so that we, who believe that the Savior of the human race is with you in your glory, may experience, as he promised, until the end of the world, his abiding presence among us.
The Feast of the Ascension of our Lord marks the culmination of the Paschal Mystery, and contains an important teaching for us. To live life as an earthly reality and develop our human potential to the fullest. Lord, may we make use of progress to achieve a better life on this planet, not forgetting in our best moments that there must be more than this, and that is a transcending reality that the earth is not our home.
As Christians, we know that this reality is you, our loving Father Who awaits us with your beloved Son and the Holy Spirit, in our heavenly abode wherein is your everlasting reign. Where Jesus has gone, we ultimately will come, if we are faithful and righteous, praying with hope and trust in Jesus’ Name. Amen