Ascension Thursday Meditation

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, has risen triumphantly from the dead, but the Story is not over yet. He appeared to his Mother and the Apostles for forty days, preparing them to cross the threshold, the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth through the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. When this task was sufficient, as the Apostles looked on, “He was raised up: and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” (Acts 1:9) The Ascension of Our Lord is paralleled only by His Coming at the End of Time, wholly unique events in human history, singular in glory, majesty and wonder. In the Old Law, the Father condescends to come to earth, as when He speaks to Moses in the Burning Bush and the institution of the Ten Commandments. Now the Son, establishing the New Law, rises up, showing us how real and attainable Heaven is. Our Lord opened access to Heaven on the Holy Cross and in His Ascension, He makes the leap Himself. He wants us to follow Him there-that was the whole purpose of His life on earth and the whole purpose of our own lives. To ensure we get there, He creates the physical, visible bridge to Heaven, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

A number of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary involve the meeting of Heaven and earth. The Ascension, the Assumption and the Crucifixion each traverse the distance from earth to Heaven. The Descent of the Holy Ghost, the Annunciation, the Baptism of Our Lord and the Transfiguration each involve Heaven coming down to earth. Heaven also meets earth in the miracles and apparitions of the Church. Lourdes is unique in that the miraculous water stays with us to this day and Fatima was unique in the witnessing of the “Miracle of the Sun” by thousands. Our Holy Church calls down the powers of Heaven in every sacrament. Our Lord’s Ascension was His final sign that we are free to enter Heaven with Him, through the Church that could be built only upon His departure.

Heaven and earth are not just places. They represent the relationship between God and His children. As any parent/child relationship, it is bound to be difficult. It’s difficult for the child to see the wisdom of the parent and it’s difficult for the parent to let the child go when it is time. We can easily see the similarity here in how we perceive God. But can we see how God perceives us? As much as we love our own children and grieve over their absence, how much more does the Father love and grieve over us? So much, that He sent His only Son to die for us. The wrenching a parent feels when setting the child free, is only a faint hint of what the Father feels over one lost soul. That is why He cannot leave us alone. That is why He keeps interfering. From the manna in the desert to the Bread of Life, He cannot bear to leave His children starving. How much longer will He allow the innocent to spiritually starve in this corrupt culture? The Ascension tells us there is another world He has prepared for us, that Heaven is our true home, sainthood our natural state…

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Mary’s joy in the Ascension of Christ

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Oh, if she had joy while her Son was still living with her in the flesh, if she had joy after her Son rose from the dead after trampling death underfoot, did she then rejoice with lesser joy when her Son entered heaven in the flesh that, as she knew well, had been taken from her? Who ever said, why, who ever even believed that Mary’s joy did not surpass all the joys that came before it?

In this world, good mothers are wont to be very happy when they see their children raised up by earthly honors. Even so, will not this Mother, who was undoubtedly good, not be glad with inexpressible joy when she sees her only Son enter heaven with commanding power and reach the throne of God the Father Almighty? Was a joy like this ever heard of? Was a joy like this ever seen in public, so that the human mind might at least direct its attention towards it in some way?

St Eadmer of Canterbury, De Excellentia 6

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La Visitation

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Thank you. Beautiful words!

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