Sunday, May 8, 2016

"the Lord’s Ascension must also fill us with serenity and enthusiasm"

"The Ascension of Christ" by Louis Cretey
"...after the Ascension the disciples returned to Jerusalem 'with great joy' (Lk 24:52). Their joy stems from the fact that what had happened was not really a separation, the Lord’s permanent absence: on the contrary, they were then certain that the Crucified-Risen One was alive and that in him God’s gates, the gates of eternal life, had been opened to humanity forever. In other words, his Ascension did not imply a temporary absence from the world but rather inaugurated the new, definitive and insuppressible form of his presence by virtue of his participation in the royal power of God. It was to be up to them, the disciples emboldened by the power of the Holy Spirit, to make his presence visible by their witness, preaching and missionary zeal. The Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension must also fill us with serenity and enthusiasm, just as it did the Apostles who set out again from the Mount of Olives 'with great joy'. Like them, we too, accepting the invitation of the 'two men in dazzling apparel', must not stay gazing up at the sky, but, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit must go everywhere and proclaim the saving message of Christ’s death and Resurrection. His very words, with which the Gospel according to St Matthew ends, accompany and comfort us: 'and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age' (Mt 28:19)."  ~Pope Benedict XVI, 5/24/09 Homily 

"Therefore, overcome with paschal joy,
every land, every people exults in your praise
and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts,
sing together the unending hymn of your glory,
as they acclaim:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts..."
~from the Preface of the Ascension of the Lord

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