Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Feast of the Ascension, Year B

Today we reach the fortieth day after Easter Sunday and we celebrate the feast of the Lord’s ascension into heaven. (Many Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States transfer the solemnity to the following Sunday.) Think of it: Our Lord’s mission on earth has been fulfilled, but he is leaving his Church to carry on his work of salvation. And yet he said, “I will not leave you orphans.” St. Augustine has these powerful words to say about this moment:
Ascension of the Lord, Drogo Sacramentary
As he was about to ascend, he spoke the last words he was to utter on earth. At the moment of going up to heaven, the head commended to our care the members he was leaving on earth, and so departed. No longer will you find Christ speaking on earth; in the future he will speak from heaven. Why will he speak from heaven? Because his members are being trampled underfoot on earth. He spoke to Saul the persecutor from above, saying: ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? I have ascended to heaven, but I still remain on the earth. Here at the Father’s right hand I sit, but there I still hunger and thirst and am without shelter’.

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