Ascension of the Lord

Summary of Catechism paragraphs 659-82:

  • During the 40 days after the Resurrection, Jesus spends time with the disciples, eating, drinking, and instructing them about the Kingdom of God.
  • Christ’s final appearance ends with His Ascension into heaven, where He comes full circle: the One who came from the Father returns to Him, exalted in divine glory.
  • But Jesus, as the Word made flesh, now brings His human nature with Him into this transcendent glory; Jesus goes before us, paving the way for our humanity to take the place that He has marked out for us in heaven.
  • Thus the Ascension is not simply an historical event; it is at the same time a sign of our own ultimate destiny, if we follow the Lord.
  • Having entered the heavenly sanctuary, Christ continually intercedes for us; in this way Christ exercises His eternal priesthood.
  • Christ is enthroned at the right hand of the Father, symbolizing the inauguration of His Kingdom, and He reigns as the Lord of the cosmos and all history.
  • The Ascension ushered in the final age of the world: Christ has already conquered, but the totality of His victory is not yet accomplished on earth.
  • Christ’s victory is still unfolding in the course of human time, until He comes again in glory at the close of history.
  • Throughout this time of watching and waiting, Christ’s kingship is present on earth through the mystery of the Church, the seed and beginning of the Kingdom; the Church must undergo trials and persecutions until the Lord returns.
  • The final realization of the Kingdom will not come about incrementally from our efforts, but rather from the action of God, when Christ appears as the Lord and Judge of the living and the dead.

Live Your Faith

As depicted in the great works of religious art, Christ enthroned in majesty is an awe-inspiring, and overwhelming, sight.

Yet this same Christ is enthroned among us, through his Eucharistic presence in the tabernacle and in the adoration chapel.

Do we feel a sense of reverential awe in His presence? Let us be ever mindful, and attentive, that the glorified Christ is here.

 

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