It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
For the Lord Jesus, the King of glory,
conqueror of sin and death,
ascended (today) to the highest heavens,
as the Angels gazed in wonder.
Mediator between God and man,
judge of the world and Lord of hosts,
he ascended, not to distance himself from our lowly state
but that we, his members, might be confident of following
where he, our Head and Founder, has gone before.
Therefore, overcome with paschal joy,
every land, every people exults in your praise
and even the heavenly Powers, with the angelic hosts,
sing together the unending hymn of your glory,
as they acclaim: Holy…
The Preface above is said on the day of the Ascension of the Lord.
The Preface above used at Mass yesterday, Ascension Sunday, highlights the way that the Ascension of Jesus is not simply a return to heaven for the one who came down from there. In the Ascension Jesus continues his saving work: he traces the path that we too, in time, are intended and purposed to trace.
The apostles are chided for gazing upward – or at least for lingering to long in their wonder – but the Preface tells us that the angels too gaze in wonder, as well they might!
The Prayer urges us to confidence in Christ’s saving work…
- What grounds for such confidence do you hold to?
- What difference does the saving love of Jesus Christ make for you and yours – and for your neighbour and ‘strangers’?
Carving. Cloister of St Trophime, Arles. (c) 2013, Allen Morris