Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Reflection: The Ascension of Our Lord

Ascension and Eschatology

The feast of the Ascension of Our Lord is the much-needed, annual reminder that the church is – by nature and vocation – an eschatological community. His ascension into glory at the right hand of the Father marks the beginning of our Lord’s reign over all creation. But, it is a reign that becomes apparent only in the eschaton, only on that last great day when the trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ arise to be forever with the Lord. In the meantime, the nations rage, the peoples mutter empty threats, the kings of the earth rise up in revolt, and the princes plot together against the Lord and against his Anointed (cf Ps 2). But, in the midst of all this, the church is that one community called and blessed to live out the eschatological reality of the reign of Christ in the present moment. The church brings the last days forward into the present when it is the church, when it lives under the reign of Christ, when it shows forth God’s will on earth as in heaven. The church is an eschatological community or it is nothing at all. So the Ascension of our Lord reminds us.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

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