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The Mystery of Our Lord’s Ascension

On Sunday the Church throughout much of the United States celebrates a mysterious event called the Ascension of the Lord.

As I have said, the Ascension of the Lord is mysterious, and as such, at times misunderstood. Many people have come to believe that the Ascension of the Lord is about how, at a certain point of time, the Lord Jesus disappeared from the planet, drifting off into the stratosphere, and from a place in the sky, he moved off into heaven, where he remains to this day—with us, but only at a distance.

This mistaken perception has been reinforced by simplistic interpretations of the descriptions of the Ascension in the New Testament, which are using unusual language to describe an event that was really and truly experienced by the Apostles and disciples of the Lord Jesus.

The language of that they use to describe this event is meant to indicate that what the Apostles and disciples saw had to be understood in the categories given by the prophets of the Old Testament. I know that this sounds complicated, and it is, but to put it simply, the Apostles and disciples who witnessed the Ascension of the Lord Jesus wanted, first and foremost, to provide a theological description of their experience—and to do so they used the Scriptures of the Old Testament as their guide.

The prophets of the Old Testament had foreseen that God would act in the world in Christ and that he would change the world in an extraordinary way. The Apostles and disciples came to understand that what the prophets had foreseen had all come to pass in the Lord Jesus.


Read more at Catholic Exchange. 


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