Christ Now Reigns in Heaven as Man
On Thursday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Ascension which finishes Our Lord’s mission of reconciling fallen humanity with God, and it guarantees that Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was completely accepted by the Father. When He ascended to Heaven, Our Lord took with Him something He didn’t have when He came to this earth. Yes, He brought with Him His divinity, and He took that back with Him too. But He also took back His human nature. This means that a human nature like ours is now in Heaven. Being in Heaven in His humanity, JESUS is there as our representative and as an everlasting bridge of reconciliation between God and mankind.
By ascending into Heaven with His human body, He is also showing us that our humanity is not a bar to an intimate relationship with God. He also shows us that by the trials and sufferings of our lives, we can still have our bodies glorified if we live our lives in Him.
Pope Francis once commented that by His Ascension,“…our humanity has been brought to God. He has opened the way. He is like a roped guide climbing a mountain Who, on reaching the summit, pulls us up to Him and leads us to God. If we entrust our lives to Him, if we let ourselves be guided by Him, we are certain of being in safe hands” (17th April 2013).
When JESUS ascended to Heaven, He also entrusted His mission of saving souls to His disciples saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). This is the mission we have been given too, but we will each do it in a different way according to our state of life. But by doing so, we will have a share in the joy that the disciples experienced after Christ ascended: “They… returned to Jerusalem with great joy“ (Luke 24:52). Go, therefore, and joyfully win souls for Christ!
Fr Paul Gillham IC