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Day 7: Ascension, elevation in joy and hope

Ps 46,6

God has gone up with a shout; the Lord, amid trumpet blasts.


Magnificent Ascension which opens to us the space of a hope: it is a space-time without limit, irreducible, but which forbids to believe that the Son of the man can be here or there. His parousia (his return to glory), and his presence are now played in our daily lives! He is in heaven, with His Father ... He is in each of us, in each of our actions, in the midst of everyday life. He is possessed by no one; He is there in hope. This raises our attention to what comes and what happens. There is no day or hour known for his return, because Jesus is with us until the end. Vigilance is to be every day and every hour; an attentiveness in the life of each and every one, a way of approaching each other as our neighbor. 

Let us contemplate the picture above (seen yesterday).  Known as the Conques Tympanum, it represents the story of our redemption... Look how Jesus Chris, from where He is, pours out graces received from the Father ... until it reaches us ...

Elijah leaving on his chariot of fire left his spirit to Elisha (2 Kings 2,9-12). Jesus leaves his Spirit to his disciples who see him rise to Heaven. Thus, striving to live the life of the Spirit as he has lived, the Church will be His body so that in the long run, in its weakness, its fragility and also a constant conversion, it announces,  by its ways of living: what she has seen, heard, and how she is touched by the Word of life (1 John 1,1). Hence, she will show the sacramental signs of His presence even in the lowest conditions of human existence.

Let us prepare ourselves for the Ascension of our Lord as a joyful event. With His Ascension, 33 years of his earthly life come to an end. But, as Luke (Luke 24,52) mentions, the Apostles return to Jerusalem "filled with joy" rather than sad as one would have expected.

Lord, I ask you today for the grace and the desire to be with you one day in Paradise!

Cardinal Godfried Daneels’ Prayer on the morning of the Ascension 

Lord Jesus, when you ascended into heaven, the angels said to the eleven: “Do not stay there looking at the heavens!” 

But forty days earlier, by the tomb, did not the same angels say to the women: “Do not look downwards! He is not here. He is risen.”?

Would it not have been fickle of the angels to change their minds so quickly? 

What are we to do Lord Jesus: look downwards towards the earth or upwards towards the heavens?

Toward both, You tell us: “I am in heaven, so look upwards to me and pray. But I am also on earth in the poor, the weak, the ill and sinners. You still have so much to do down there, for them and for me, at least for the time being.

Lord Jesus, make us look to the heavens, without forgetting the earth, and vice versa. For every time that we do something on earth to serve one of our brothers whom you created, it is indeed You whom we are serving.

Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6