Thursday, June 02, 2011


The Ascension is much underestimated. St Luke conveys a central mystery in a few sketchy lines. Ephesians, maybe, is clearer:
Ascension is to Christmas what Theosis (or Deification) is to the Incarnation.
Ascending on high, he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men. Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.

God descended that Man might ascend.

God came down so that Man might go up.

Where the Head is their shall the Body be.

He shared in our humanity so that we migh share in his divinity.

He became Man so that we might become God.

He became sin (which we are by virtue of our fallen humaity) so that we might become holy (which he is by virtue of his divinity)


Physiocrat said...

Many thanks for celebrating it on the correct day. It was worthy of a larger congregation than we got.

It is important that the three lost feast days be recovered - please carry on the good work and ensure that they are well publicised so that there is a good attendance.

Large congregations on the lost feast days will help to put pressure on the bishops to reinstate them.

nickbris said...

When I was young,which wasn't yesterday,Ascension Day was very important and the pews were always packed.At St Mary Mags it was standing room only.

Didn't seem to be much interest yesterday,no more than 30 souls apart from the Choir.

Fr Paul said...

"He became sin (which we are by virtue of our humanity"
Father, this is frankly heretical. I was going to write "Jansenism", but in fact "Calvinism" is nearer the mark, and one might almost talk of Manicheism. Now, I know that you are afflicted by none of these, so I must presume that you are using hyperbole (as is the writer to the Ephesians, in fact). Dangerous though, no?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Yes Father, you are quite right, I have hastened to add "fallen" to humanity.
Thank you

But can we say that Eph is hyperbolic? Obviously it has been seen in context, but hyperbole?

Gigi said...

I was quite far away from Brighton yesterday, and I am sorry to have missed a mass celebrating the Ascension. When I was at school, it was seen as a very holy feast; the church was decorated especially with fresh flowers and I believe we brought fruit to the church as well. It was a beautiful and evocative feast day: why is it not widely celebrated as such now?