Tomorrow, May 10, is Ascension Day, ten days before Pentecost!
As I grow deeper in my understanding of the life of Christ and am shaped year after year by the liturgical calendar, I've become especially fond of Ascension Day. It's not so much that I look forward to particular traditions as we have for so many other holy days -- although my husband has instituted a Eucharistic compline service for Church of the Apostles this year -- but in the actual fact that Christ is ascended to the Father that's deepened me. Once again, as we've seen from the moment of conception to birth to baptism to crucifixion and resurrection, Christ's human life seamlessly integrates both divine and human realties. Through Christ, we are invited into the same earthy transcendence. This truth is as miraculous and ordinary as the bottom of Jesus' feet being lifted into a cloudy glory. Like the disciples, we're given glimpses while we wait to see this truth in its eternal entirety, and Ascension Day is a beautiful day to repeat our hallelujahs!
We celebrate the reality of Christ's ascension by spoken creed, yet I've only been vaguely aware of its theological significance for most of my life. I'm still just learning, and, typically, am aided most deeply through the body of artistic reflection accumulated throughout the history of Christianity. (For examples, you can see previous years' meditations here.) I hope this collection will be meaningful for you, as well.
For more reflection, here are three brief, but meaningful, posts on the meaning of ascension:
Ascension Day and the Real Absence of Christ by Fr. Greg Goebel at Anglican Pastor
Ascension Day: Christ Our King and Brother by at The Homely Hours
Reflections on the Feast of the Ascension by Damian Howard SJ at Thinking Faith
A Sonnet for Ascension Day
Today's readings: Acts 1:1-11, Psalm 47, Ephesians 1:15-23, Luke 24:44-53
Listen to my Ascension playlist on Spotify: Ascension
The Collect for Ascension Day:
(See all Ascension Day posts from previous years here.)