Thursday, May 09, 2013
Thursday: The Day of the Two Presences
He came down to earth without leaving the Father's presence, he ascended into Heaven without leaving us orphans.
Their Lordships movement of this Great Feast of the Ascension from the 40th to the 43rd day after Easter, has helped to focus our attention on this day itself.
Today is Thursday, the 5th day; Holy Thursday is the day of the Lord's institution of the Holy Eucharist. For us Catholics the Eucharist is His abiding Presence: This is My Body, This is My Blood. It is not absence but Presence.
That round of meals he had with his disciple and friends is replaced for the discples by this new anamensis of His death and resurrection. His Body and Blood will remain in His church until He comes again.
Today, Thursday, we remember His Ascension, the discples witness, "His being taken up", "his going from them", and yet they return to Jerusalem not sad but "rejoicing".
Why do they rejoice? Because his going is not about his departure but his being with them, "remember. I am with you always, yes, even to the consumation of the ages". Now, wherever they are, he is with them. They become His Body in the world, the Ascension is about Presence not absence.
Today Thursday, is the day of two "Presences". His Eucharist Presence, as the Body of Christ within the Community of Faith for the Church and His Ecclessial Presence as the (Mystical) Body of Christ within the world.
Is it coincidental or are we supposed to connect these two Thursdays, the Eucharist and Ascension?
Posted by Fr Ray Blake