Bottom line: Venerable John Henry Newman and St. Maximus of Turin explain the significance of the Ascension.
Although I am not preaching this year on the Ascension, I could not resist sharing two quotes on the meaning of the Feast. The first is from Venerable John Henry Newman:
"Moses brought out of Egypt a timid nation, and in the space of forty years trained it to be full of valor for the task of conquering the promised land; Christ in forty days trains his apostles to be bold and patient instead of cowards. They mourned and wept at the beginning of the season, but at the end they are full of courage for the good fight; their spirits mount high with their Lord, and when he is received out of their sight, and their own trial begins, they return to Jerusalem with great joy, and are continually in the temple, praising and blessing God."
The second, from St. Maximus of Turin, compares Christ to an eagle that swoops down to wrest the prey from another:
"As the prophet says, Ascending on high he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men.. The undoubted meaning of these words is this: that since the devil led the human race captive, our Lord, by wresting it from him, took it captive himself, and as the prophet tells us, led that very captivity to the heights of heaven. Both captivities do indeed bear the same name, but they differ one from the other. The devil's captivity means enslavement; Christ's, on the contrary, means restoration to freedom."*
*These quote are from A Word in Season, Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. III, Easter Season, Years I and II. Overall, A Word in Season is a fine series for a person desiring a two-year cycle of Scripture and Patristic-Modern readings.
From the Archives (Ascension Homilies):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
C.S. Lewis' explanation of the Ascension
Bulletin: Principal Search, Expelled, First Communions
Announcements (Fr. Joseph Marquart, Holy Family Class of 1945)
Preaching Schedule (updated)
Two-Bit Collections (updated)
my bulletin column
SMV Bulletin (be patient - sometimes we have problems uploading)
Parish Picture Album
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