“ASCENDED & ELEVATED FOR YOU”
Saint Mark 16. 14-20; Acts 1. 1-11
The Feast of The Ascension of Our Lord: 9 May Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of Jesus
Christ ascended; was elevated by the Father for you—to fill you and seat you at the right hand of the Father.
Before Genesis the Holy Trinity was ascension in love; elevated in perfect inter-communitarian mystery: I AM. In out-flowing love the Creator LORD made man in His Image; the image of the Trinity…yes…but more so In the Image of The Son.
The Holy Ghost hovered first over the face of the deep and then over the ground where the Father breathed His Image, His Son into dirt; wet it with the spittle of His “mouth” and made Adam—made Adam perfect and sinless. The Lord elevated man; ascended him up out of the ground to be His brother and co-heir of the Father; and walked with him in the cool of the day; ate with him and his mate in paradise. You are headed back!
This is where it, you, everything is headed; this is your terminus, goal, and final denouement! The ascension isn’t a Bible story about a traveling away Jesus but the final piece of the Pierced God’s actions to bring you back to Eden; to perfection; to His side; to eat, drink, talk, laugh, and be filled with Him!
Mans flesh, Adam’s flesh, was made to dwell with God—with the Holy Trinity, and most specifically with the Son of God in perfect communion. Not man’s spirit, not man’s nature, not man’s personality or brain waves, (though to be sure they are all part of the “package”) but MANS flesh and blood and concrete self! And not just Adam’s flesh but all his children—all of you were to sit with the Lord. Adam fell. You fell. All flesh is now as grass: corruptible, putrescent, rotting and dying flesh.
So God to redeem Adam and you, redeems the real, full, total, REAL PRESENCE of Adam, you and all flesh by becoming Flesh—true man born of the Virgin Mary. The Incarnation (the Feast of the Annunciation), the Nativity (The Christ-Mass), the Atonement (Good Friday), the Pascha (The Easter Resurrection), all lead up to tonight: The Feast of The Ascension, which then floods over on all of you, us, on Pentecost—Baptism—Preaching—Absolving—and Eating the Eucharist!
The Second Person was ascended into the young Nazarene girl’s womb and took from her sinful body Flesh and Blood and elevated it in/with/under His divine perfection uniting His now human nature with His God nature in the perfect Personal Union of the One God/Man. In the Incarnation and Nativity human flesh and blood regained dignity and worth, while the process of the total Redemption and reunion marched on. The salvation continued when Christ, with not just his feelings and mental thoughts suffered and paid for your transgressions; but with His actual Body and real Blood (spewing all over Body, the wooden cross, and soaking into Calvary) suffered and died. He ascended of His own free will onto the crossbeam of the crucifix; elevated as the true Host of Heaven’s own payment in His immaculate propitiation. He ascended in spikes and nails, and was elevated to give to the Virgin, and Saint John, and all the Holy Church forgiveness of sin, absolution from Adam’s treason and of your daily betrayals.
Christ ascended on the Third Day, out of death, out of the tomb, out of the chains of the horizontal hell that fallen flesh had been captured by. Not a ghost appeared to the 12 in the upper room, but the SAME flesh and blood God/Man, the real actual and identical Jesus in the flesh that had come forth from the tabernacle of Mary’s womb that had obeyed and atoned on the prior Friday. Jesus’ vivified and restored life now shone un-encumbered, no longer humiliated, in His now forever Glorified Body. BUT THE POINT of the Ascension is that it is also NOW YOUR BODY! The Second Person of the Trinity didn’t resurrect flesh because He needed it but because you do. That rebirth is not temporary. That living Lord did not resurrect so that He could continue to wander around Judea doing good things and kicking the Roman heathens back to Italy.
Jesus’ Body is your Body. It is the Church Catholic as well as His own arms, legs, feet, hands and face. It is both Mary and John; it is both the Apostolic Band and their hearers at Pentecost and at 9 May Anno Domini 2013!
So, this isn’t history or theory, this is now, and in a moment…and soon in all fullness: the Feast to come with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Jesus didn’t ascend away from His flock but rather lifted Himself up from His own localized Body to fill the Body of His entire Church through the bodies of His appointed Apostles—that is, through His Preached Word and His Sacramental Word—Christ’s Body and Blood elevated in trumpeted proclamation, and elevated at Holy Altar to be worshipped and most definitely to be eaten and drunk! Jesus did not ascend up to a distant heaven but ascended out of ONLY Jerusalem to All His Chancels and Altars and Fonts and Pulpits and People’s Communion Feasts! His visible Paschal Candle Flame isn’t really gone, just invisible to the eyes in the head as His “flame” His Holy Spirit which gives Him out IN all His fullness has simply ascended to this place—this Altar—this Chalice and paten! As it flickered over the heads of Peter and company, as it flickered over our font the last 5 weeks, it now burns brightly in all this parish in His Word! He fills all things with His glorified and Godly Body and Blood, perfect flesh of the perfect God/Man. You eat and drink the risen, living and glorified Jesus.
When Saint Simeon was given God into His hands by the Church—Saint Mary, Theotokos, He elevated His God and Lord as Host of the Mass of Mercy—the forgiveness of sins—the consolation of Israel. When the Christ Ascended in the old man’s hands His Flesh was elevated and so was Mary’s. When I receive God into my hands by the Word, I elevate Our Lord and God as Host of this Mass of Mercy. Christ ascends to this Altar to fill you.
You are ascended and elevated to the throne room of the Trinity, You sit at the right hand of the Father—your flesh, forgiven and restored in Christ’s.
In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost