See, the Lord Ascends in Triumph

St. Leo the Great on the glorification of our humanity in Christ's ascension:

Ascension_3 And truly great and unspeakable was [the disciples'] cause for joy, when in the sight of the holy multitude, above the dignity of all heavenly creatures, the Nature of mankind went up, to pass above the angels' ranks and to rise beyond the archangels' heights, and to have Its uplifting limited by no elevation until, received to sit with the Eternal Father, It should be associated on the throne with His glory, to Whose Nature It was united in the Son.

Since then Christ's Ascension is our uplifting, and the hope of the Body is raised, whither the glory of the Head has gone before, let us exult, dearly-beloved, with worthy joy and delight in the loyal paying of thanks. For today not only are we confirmed as possessors of paradise, but have also in Christ penetrated the heights of heaven, and have gained still greater things through Christ's unspeakable grace than we had lost through the devil's malice. For us, whom our virulent enemy had driven out from the bliss of our first abode, the Son of God has made members of Himself and placed at the right hand of the Father, with Whom He lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
(On the Lord's Ascension I, Sermon LXXIII)

Such are the implications of our union with Christ, that in Him our human nature is exalted to the highest heaven.  His ascension is our own, for as St. Paul writes in Colossians, our lives are "hidden with Christ in God."  Christopher Wordsworth captures this truth beautifully in the final stanza of his ascension hymn, "See, the Lord Ascends in Triumph":

He has raised our human nature on the clouds to God's right hand;
There we sit in heav'nly places, there with Him in glory stand.
Jesus reigns, adored by angels; Man with God is on the throne.
By our mighty Lord's ascension we by faith behold our own.

blog post |
Derek White

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