Sunday, May 28, 2017

Reflection on the Ascension of the Lord

"The old manner of human companionship and encounter is over. From now on we can touch Jesus only 'with the Father'. Now we can touch him only by ascending. From the Father's perspective, in his communion with the Father, he is accessible and close to us in a new way.

"This new accessibility presupposes a newness on our part as well. Through Baptism, our life is already hidden with Christ in God--in our current existence we are already 'raised' with him at the Father's right hand (cf. Col. 3:1-3). If we enter fully into the essence of our Christian life, then we really do touch the risen Lord, then we really do become fully ourselves. Touching Christ and ascending belong together. And let us not forget that for John the place of Christ's 'exaltation' is his Cross and that our own ever-necessary 'ascension', our 'going up on high' in order to touch him, has to be traveled in company with the crucified Jesus.

"Christ, at the Father's right hand, is not far away from us. At most we are far from him, but the path that joins us to one another is open. And this path is not a matter of space travel of a cosmic-geographical nature: it is the 'space travel' of the heart, from the dimension of self-enclosed isolation to the new dimension of world-embracing divine love."

--Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection (Ignatius Press, 2011), p. 286

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