Cleveland Prayer Group Website

Supplement To Article by Rev. Fr. K. K. John on Ascension
Rev. Dr. P. S. Samuel Cor-Episcopa

May I add few comments to supplement some of the thoughts you have hinted in your wonderful and detailed studies on various topics. (Please see: Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord  by Fr. K. K. John.)

1) What do we mean by "he came down" In the creed, in the teaching of St. Paul and in the fathers,and in premyons it is said "Swargam Chaichu" and Humbled himself (Kenosis) emptied himself. So descending is coming down shows humiliation or humility. God assuming a lowly state as man.

2) Sitteth" at the right hand is interpreted as 'resting " after completing a job which as you said is work of salvation. On the cross Our Lord says, "it is finished" The same idea is expressed in creation account in Genesis that God rested on the seventh day. This does not mean He was tired but that He had completed His work of creation.

3) "Standeth" was explained to me on the day of my ordination to priesthood by Kurichi Bava (on St. Stephen's day Jan.8th) that Our Lord was standing to receive the soul of St. Stephen, a saint who approached his death in a similar way as his Master and who was much beloved to Our Lord.

4) Ascension is going behind the veil. Jesus' God head is spoken of as "veiled in flesh" His divinity was veiled from our sight. This is very much tied up with the veil of the temple which separated God from man (Israelites) Only the High priest entered the holy of Holies once a year after due preparation. The Israelites had a glimpse of God (God's arc) for a short moment. 

This veil was torn from the top to the bottom when Jesus died on the cross. Separation was removed. Jesus' body was pierced by the centurion , the veil was pierced and blood and water gushed out and the veil gave glimpse of God's heart full of love for humankind. 

As St. Luke says he was covered by a cloud. He disappeared from our sight. This does not mean that he went into heaven by space travel. There is no locomotion implied in this idea of ascension. Our lord is with us always as he is at the right hand of the Father. He is not remote from us. He is ever present with the Church (when two or three are gathered together ). All the post- resurrection appearances of Our Lord to the disciples are on the eighth day (Sunday) during Holy Qurbana or at the breaking of the bread. His presence (we often say "real presence", but there is no 'unreal presence') IS WITH US IN THE BREAD AND THE WINE, HIS BODY AND BLOOD. 

THE WRONG NOTION OF THE ASCENSION HAS DEPRIVED US OF THE PRESENCE OF OUR LORD WITH US .WE ARE MEETING HIM EVERY TIME WE CELEBRATE THE EUCHARIST. WE HAVE BECOME NON-CHRISTOCENTRIC. 

ASCENSION REALLY MEANS EXALTATION OF OUR LORD. 

So descending and ascending mean humbling and exalting or becoming glorified.

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