Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. (Hebrews 9:24).
The Ascension is a mystery of our Christian Faith that is not easy to wrap our heads around. It is a glorious occasion without a doubt. Christ enters into an existence in which space and time have no claim over Him. The image of Jesus at the right hand of God with our wounds on his body representing our humanity interceding on our behalf as accepted without condition; is just wonderful. It is very comforting and reassuring in a time when we need more than we can adequately ask for.
There is another important aspect of the Ascension for us to meditate on.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, were Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1).
God came to us in Christ to draw us closer to God’s Self so that we may love God in holiness with trust and hope. In Christ, God sees another side of us that we do not see for ourselves. God sees how deeply we are all loved and cherished in the wounds and Risen Christ. Our woundedness does not have the last word, because God’s grace can use it to draw us into a deep relationship with the Divine Presence of God that brings a greater peace of mind and life. In Christ, God has chosen all of us to become God’s workers in the vineyard where we cultivate the gifts of the Holy Spirit that God freely gives to all of us.
In the Prologue to The Rule of Saint Benedict, he wrote:
“What, dear brothers and sisters, is more delightful than this voice of the Lord calling to us? See how the Lord in his love shows us the way to life. Clothed then with faith and the performance of good works, let us set out on this way, with the Gospel for our guide, that we may deserve to see him who has called us to his kingdom” (1 Thess 2:12). (RB 1980: The Rule of Saint Benedict, p.16).
How is God moving your heat to see yourself as before God in Christ in your woundedness to bring healing and love to the world around you?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB