The Ascension of Christ by Dali (click for larger version)

The perspective of Dali's Ascension never fails to draw me in!  The earthy feet of the Risen Jesus ascending into heaven to reign for ever at the Father's right hand in the power of the Holy Spirit. 
It's not Ascension Thursday everywhere!
Is it Ascension Thursday where you live? In some parts of the Catholic world, the observance of the Ascension has been transferred to this coming Sunday. Or will your local church celebrate Ascension today? The answer can be found here.

You can find the scriptures for Ascension day here. This Preface prayer for the Ascension offers a brief theological summary of what the Church celebrates on this 40th day after Easter. The theology is in the verbs!
Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks and praise. Today the Lord Jesus, the king of glory, the conqueror of sin and death, ascended to heaven while the angels sang his praises.

Christ, the mediator between God and humankind, judge of the world and Lord of all, has
passed beyond our sight, not to abandon us but to be our hope. Christ is the beginning, the head of the Church; where he has gone, we hope to follow.

The joy of the resurrection and ascension renews the whole world, while the choirs of heaven sing for ever to your glory: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

The Ascension is so much more than just an exit line after the Resurrection: the Ascension, the rising of the Risen Lord, home to his Father in heave, fulfills Jesus' mission and brings it to completion.  The Risen One rises...

Pause for Prayer

Just 40 days after Easter, Lord,
you brought your friends together,
to say goodbye, to bid them all farewell...

Taking leave was bittersweet:
    the memory of what was,
    the promise of what yet would be,
    the pledge that on a day to come
    you'd all be one again...

There'd been coming and going, meeting and knowing,
    sorrow and sadness, miracles and joy,
    deserts and dinners, feasting and fasting,
    preaching, parables, words of wisdom, 
    comfort and conflict, judgment and suffering,
    surrender and sacrifice, dying, rising
    and hope born again with promise for all
    of life without end...

You left your friends
    but didn't abandon them,
you promised your Spirit, the Spirit of truth
    to lead and guide, console and comfort
to show us the path we're called to walk,
    the way that leads us home to you
and to that day, still yet to come,
    when all will be one, Lord, once again...






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