Feast of the Ascension
On this day we do not observe a departure as much as we celebrate a presence. The eyes of faith see the hope and scope of Christ’s power He is with us always. The humanity of Jesus is always and everywhere our way to God. “This created human nature is the indisputable and permanent gateway through which everything created must pass if it is to find the perfection of its eternal validity before God.”(Karl Rahner). We do not stand looking up into the heavens. Instead we continue the mission of Jesus on this earth as his disciples and spread his word open to the Spirit who will guide us.
Send us your Spirit, O Lord.
I will find concrete ways to transform my faith into action.
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes down on you; then you are to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, yes, even to the ends of the earth.
Nor sooner had he said this than he was lifted up in a cloud which took him from their sight. They were still gazing up into the heavens when two men dressed in white stood beside them “men of Galilee”, they said,” Why are you standing here looking up into the heavens? This Jesus who has been taken from you will return, just as you saw him go up into the heavens.”
Acts 1:1 -11
Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.
Jesus is no longer restricted or confined to time and space, as he was during his historical lifetime. Rather, like the God whom he knew in his own experience, he continues to be known in the experience of his followers.
The most tragic thing in the suffering of Christ was not the cross but the sleeping disciples.
Ascension Day proclaims the lordship of Christ. To say that the risen and ascended Jesus is “at God’s right hand,” a position of honor and authority, means “Jesus is Lord.” In the first century, when kings and emperors claimed to be lords, this claim had not only religious but also political meaning. To say “Jesus is Lord” meant, and means, that the Herods and Caesars of this world were not, and are not.
To demythologize the ascension is not to deny that Jesus “went to heaven”; it is simply to find a way of expressing this in language which takes it out of the realm of current or future space research.
James D. G. Dunn