The Ascension of Jesus into heaven
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2nd Glorious Mystery of the Rosary ¤
Reading from Scripture: Acts 1: v1-11
In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. When he had been at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. "It is," he had said "what you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptised with the Holy Spirit."
Now having met together, they asked him, "Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He replied, "It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you, and the you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth."
As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, "Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there."
Meditation: Like the apostles, we are amidst joy and sadness. Jesus returns to the Father in glory. Jesus, deliver us from asking unnecessary questions, like the apostles at the ascension, but may we give ourselves to prayer, united in one heart with Mary.
Eternal Father, with all the love with which your Son ascended into heaven, may we, by that same love, prepare to spread the Good News to the ends of the earth.
Mary, my Mother, teach me to pray as you taught the apostles, that I may experience a new Pentecost.
"The ascension of Christ means the passage of Christ into the dimension of eternal love. He paid the price for that, on the Cross, He loved to the end, even when they were crucifying Him, even when I was crucifying Him. So now He truly can live love to the end. In His sacred humanity He can enter into that dimension of being which is pure love, pure hospitality, pure welcome. He can fill the universe with His presence because there is nothing in the universe that He has not loved and redeemed. So when I celebrate the ascension, which at first sight can seem like the departure of Christ, I am celebrating the nearness of Christ, the welcome of Christ; that my loneliness, there's an answer to that; that there's a place in His heart which only I can fill, and that he means me to fulfill. Also there's a mission in this, that the hospitable Christ sends us to be hospitable, to be that place of welcome."
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Bridging Heaven & Earth by Father Andrew Pinsent ♦
"While the human mind can range over space and time, the present human body is bound to an essentially two-dimensional existence. What the Ascension of Jesus shows us, first, is that the Resurrected human body does not suffer from this limitation: the Resurrected body can go wherever the beatified soul desires. Indeed, a distant echo of this yearning can be seen in the way that the superheroes of popular culture, in particular the superman, a distant derivative of the work of Nietzsche, are almost always portrayed as being capable of flight. What is most significant about the Ascension, however, is that Jesus' human nature is alos described as sitting at the right hand of God. In an image given to us by St Catherine of Siena, it is as if the human nature of Jesus Christ has become like a great bridge, stretching from our present earthly life into the presence of God in heaven. This bridge completes the process of opening a way for human beings to attain eternal happiness: the soul being saved by the sacrifice of Chrst's death, the body being saved and glorified by Christ's Resurrection, and the offer of being raised into a new world being made by Christ's Ascension."
Readings: Gospel: Mark 16:15-20: .. So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
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