The Feast of the Ascension: 40 Days to a Blessing
O Christ our God, You ascended in Glory and gladdened Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Your blessing assured them that You are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.
We sing this hymn on the Feast Day of the Ascension: the day on which our Lord ascended, with body, into the heavens before the eyes of His disciples. The words not only include the Trinity, but show how the miracle of Salvation is finalized in what was the greatest sacrifice of all: His only Son dying on the cross, conquering death by death, resurrecting and finally revealing this to those who shall continue His Church. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,” Jesus instructs His disciples on the Mount of Olives. What other words could give us confidence in the Trinity, the Church and the Sacraments all at once? There would be few other examples. And yet, some deny all these three important realities as nothing more than symbolic or, in an even worse case, as being nothing more than heresy or conspiracy.
Living in the World, but not of the World, we can take the Feast of the Ascension, His Words and the entire context of the Paschal season and surmise that this relates to everything in all He created: us, the earth and the kingdom to come. His great plan comes now to fruition and it is up to us to continue this always in the present. His disciples continued their “consecration” in keeping what is holy for all time to come before the Last Judgement. And now it is our turn. Guided by the center of our Church – the bishops of Apostolic succession – we shall continue to celebrate the greatest feast of feasts known as Pascha and live in the 40 days to follow, knowing that death has been conquered and our path here on earth as Christians has been revealed to us as truth and goodness.
Love in Christ,