The Second reading at Mass yesterday, Sunday, the feast of the Ascension, came from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
Paul speaks of the Easter event, Christ’s rising from the dead, his being seated at the right hand of the Father in Glory: an event in history and beyond history. He speaks of it as an event which shouts the rule of Christ, and an event which is our secured hope.
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him.
May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers.
This you can tell from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.
Sometimes, as in the image above the Ascension is symbolised by two plaster feet dangling from a ceiling. That symbolism makes its point, but Paul has a broader, deeper, more profound perspective. It is about the reign of God. It is about salvation. And it is about the fulfilment of the potential of us, the restoration of us to right relationship with God.
- What, in Christ, can we rise above?
- To what, in Christ, can we confidently aspire?
The Ascension. Anglican Shrine at Walsingham. (c) 2003, Allen Morris