Then [Jesus] led them out as far as Bethany, and,
lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them,
he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.
And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;
and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
Days after Easter comes the Ascension of the Resurrected Christ into Heaven.
One of the five major milestones in the life of Christ [the others are baptism,
transfiguration, crucifixion, and resurrection], the Ascension is professed in
both the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds. Whether, actual, mystical or
metaphorical, it is one of the great feasts of the Christian liturgical
calendar. It signifies the completion of his earthly presence as he takes
his divine presence seated at the right hand of the Father [Nicene Creed, Book of
The readings for today give us a direction for our own earthly lives. In the Acts of the Apostles we hear that as Christ's body was being elevated, suddenly two men in robes stood by them. They said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven?" From Ephesians, Paul prays, ...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ...may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe...
Holy Jesus, Son of God, as Your Church we are the Body of Christ. On this Ascension Day, let us ascend in our hearts, minds, and souls, and raise our own prayers that we may be disciples in our own day, to care for all the People of God. Guide us as we seek to discover You in our daily thoughts, words, and actions. Grant us that wisdom to know the hope to which we are called with enlightened hearts, and be eager for the time when You, who has been taken up...into heaven, will come in the same way... Amen. Alleluia!