Ascension Sunday Reflection
We adore you most holy Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all the churches of the world, and we bless you because, by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.
As a Christian community, we have moved through the drama of the cross, faced the empty tomb and the glory of the resurrection, and now with the disciples, we also stare up at Jesus Ascension in some bemusement.
It all really seems like a bit of a let-down. Somehow we overlook the wonderful miracle that is taking place before our eyes as a caricature of someone beamed up to the heavens above into some unknown realm, just like some Star Trek scene, while we are left behind fending for ourselves on the earth below.
Where has Jesus’ body gone, and where is this realm above the clouds into which Jesus has ascended? No, this will never do, our modern scientific minds resist this type of charade!
It is only once we take up a contemplative stance that the witness of the Christ and the words of Scripture start falling into place. Jesus affirms that as the Incarnated Word of God, the anointed one, the Christ, has come from God, and IS before Abraham was. God and God’s Word before the beginning, before the first moment of time. In the Christ event, the beginning and the end have intersected, creating for us an eternal moment of the transcendent present within the immanent, present in the here and now.
This is God in the here and now interacting within Gods’ own creation, becoming one with humanity in that creation, and then in the most astonishing of all events, taking that humanity back into the Godhead itself. It is at this very intersection that the continuous Incarnation of God and the divinisation of God’s creation takes place. This is the way, the only way, that true Love becomes possible.
Yes, we may claim to love to the moon and back, but that is over in an instant in time, or 1,3 seconds to be exact. Is that love? Can we say that love is true when it lasts but an instant, a decade or even our lifetime? We have an intuitive knowledge within us that for love to be true, love must in some way be beyond the limitation of time, must be eternal. It is only in this entwining of incarnation and human divinisation; the ongoing dance of our time and space within the eternal transcendence of God’s being, that Love becomes true and eternal.
Only in and through the Christ can we come to reflect the nature of God, come to reflect Love. This is our doorway into sharing in the life of the Trinity, sharing in that dance of Love, sharing in the creative fruitfulness of God’s Love.
This gift of God is shared with us in the contemplative mind that becomes capable of moving beyond the duality of the ego with its constant need for affirmation. It is only here at the intercession of immanence and transcendence that we have the opportunity to let go of our own imaginings and images that are but a poor shadows of God’s Life and Love.
Our sharing in God’s transcendent love is the creative force of all creation, is at the center of our Christian lives, and is made available to us in the Eucharist. This is the full sharing in God’s Divine Life and Love out of which flows forgiveness and healing.
As soon as our eyes have been opened and we observe this miracle present in our lives, we start to see this in everything and in everyone. This is where we see the body of Jesus, the Christ. This is where the realm of the kingdom of God is to be found. Thus it becomes possible for us also to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us and to walk gently upon the earth. This is our life in Christ. This is our participation in the inner life of the Trinity. This is the Life of the Trinity that now beats with the human heart so that we may share in the expanse of the Divine Heart.