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The Ascension


First, this was the first time the Second Person of the Holy Trinity returned to Heaven since his Incarnation.  A completely new thing took place in Heaven; at the Ascension the angels worship human nature in Jesus Christ for the first time.

Human nature was created lower than angel nature; and because of the fall, there were no human bodies in Heaven before Jesus ascended; that is, not only where we were created lower, but through sin we fell from the place that we used to have.  Now, because of the Incarnation and Passion, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity has a physical, human body in Heaven. This was a true feat.

Second, even more remarkable, is that we have a share in the Ascension of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ ascending into Heaven in his glorified human body applies to all of the redeemed, in that we, through Christ, are brought back to the throne of God, back to what we were created for.  When we reflect on the Ascension, we should remember that this is the glory that we are meant for; in God’s mercy He has restored us to Himself through His Son. 

The destiny that God has planned for us, which is a stunning and remarkable display of His mercy and love, is an eternal reality that should inform our daily actions for the better.

Third, Ascension Thursday is closely connected with Pentecost.  After Jesus ascended, the disciples were instructed to go to Jerusalem and wait.  They, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, waited and prayed for a period of nine days until the Holy Spirit was poured out on them at Pentecost.

In fact, Jesus told His disciples that unless He ascended, the Holy Spirit would not come.  This period of nine days was the Church’s first novena, and the biblical precedent for all the various novenas that believers pray today.  This period of nine days of prayer to the Holy Spirit is something that we can enter into again.