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Sunday, May 20, 2012

"I am always with you . . ."

Today is Ascension Sunday. I was struck by the Communion antiphon; after readings that speak of Jesus "taken up into heaven" we have the quote from Matthew 28: 20,

Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age, alleluia."

The "Magnificat" monthly Mass booklet has this quote from Benedict XVI that is worth reflecting on today:

The meaning of Christ's Ascension expresses our belief that in Christ the humanity that we all share has entered into the inner life of God in a new and hitherto unheard of way. It means that man has found an everlasting place in God."
He continues by saying that "we go to heaven to the extent that we go to Jesus Christ and enter into him."

Heaven is a person. Jesus himself is what we call 'heaven'.

It is a joyful feast and the collect says:

Gladden us with holy joys, almighty God,
and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving,
for the Ascension of Christ your Son
is our exaltation,
and, where the Head has gone before in glory,
the Body is called to follow in hope.

And let us not forget the Preface where we always find the theology of the feast. I will only quote two lines at the very end: "Therefore, overcome with paschal joy,
every land, every people exults in your praise...

But best of all, we know that Christ told us that He is with us always and that is the real reason for joy!

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