Christ is Ascended in Glory! And We With Him!

by St. Cyril of Jerusalem

ascensionLet us not curiously pry into what is properly meant by the throne; for it is incomprehensible.

But neither let us endure those who falsely say, that it was after His Cross and Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, that the Son began to sit on the right hand of the Father.

For the Son gained not His throne by advancement; but throughout His being (and His being is by an eternal generation) He also sitteth together with the Father.

And this throne the Prophet Isaiah having beheld before the incarnate coming of the Savior, says,

 I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up  (Is. 6:1),

and the rest.

For the Father

no man hath seen at any time (John 1:18),

and He who then appeared to the Prophet was the Son.

The Psalmist also says,

Thy throne is prepared of old; Thou art from everlasting (Ps. 93:2).

[…] But now I must remind you of a few things out of many which are spoken concerning the Son’s sitting at the right hand of the Father.

For the hundred and ninth Psalm says plainly,

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool (Ps. 110:1).

And the Savior, confirming this saying in the Gospels, says that David spoke not these things of himself, but from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, saying,

How then doth David in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand (Matt. 22:3)?

And in the Acts of the Apostles, Peter on the day of Pentecost standing with the Eleven (Acts 2:34), and discoursing to the Israelites, has in very words cited this testimony from the hundred and ninth Psalm.

[…] Now may He Himself, the God of all, who is Father of the Christ, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who came down, and ascended, and sitteth together with the Father, watch over your souls.

May He keep unshaken and unchanged your hope in Him who rose again; raise you together with Him from your dead sins unto His heavenly gift; count you worthy to be

caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17).

[…] Think not that because He is now absent in the flesh, He is therefore absent also in the Spirit.  He is here present in the midst of us, listening to what is said of Him, and beholding thine inward thoughts, and

trying the reins and hearts (Ps. 7:9).

And He is also now ready to present those who are coming to baptism, and all of you, in the Holy Spirit to the Father, and to say,

Behold, I and the children whom God hath given Me (Isa. 8:18; Heb. 2:13).

Source

 

Christ is Ascended in Glory! And We With Him

Why Didn’t the Holy Spirit Come Right After the Ascension?

by St. John Chrysostom

But why did the Holy Spirit come to them, not while Christ was present, nor even immediately after his departure, but, whereas Christ ascended on the fortieth day, the Spirit descended

“when the day of Pentecost,” that is, the fiftieth, “was fully come?”(Acts 2:1)

And how was it, if the Spirit had not yet come, that He said,

“Receive ye the Holy Spirit?” (John 20:22)

In order to render them capable and meet for the reception of Him. For if Daniel fainted at the sight of an Angel (Dan. 8:17), much more would these when about to receive so great a grace.

Either this then is to be said, or else that Christ spoke of what was to come, as if it came already; as when He said,

“Tread ye upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the devil.” (Luke 10:19)

But why had the Holy Spirit not yet come? It was fit that they should first be brought to have a longing desire for that event, and so receive the grace. For this reason Christ Himself departed, and then the Spirit descended. For had He Himself been there, they would not have expected the Spirit so earnestly as they did. On this account neither did He come immediately after Christ’s Ascension, but after eight or nine days. It is the same with us also; for our desires towards God are then most raised, when we stand in need. Accordingly, John chose that time to send his disciples to Christ when they were likely to feel their need of Jesus, during his own imprisonment.

Besides, it was fit that our nature should be seen in heaven, and that the reconciliation should be perfected, and then the Spirit should come, and the joy should be unalloyed. For, if the Spirit being already come, Christ had then departed, and the Spirit remained; the consolation would not have been so great as it was. For in fact they clung to Him, and could not bear to part with Him; wherefore also to comfort them He said,

“It is expedient for you that I go away.” (John 16:7)

On this account He also waits during those intermediate days, that they might first despond for awhile, and be made, as I said, to feel their need of Him, and then reap a full and unalloyed delight. But if the Spirit were inferior to the Son, the consolation would not have been adequate; and how could He have said,

“It is expedient for you?”

For this reason the greater matters of teaching were reserved for the Spirit, that the disciples might not imagine Him inferior.

 

From Homily 1 of Acts of the Apostles.

Source

Sermon On The Ascension

by St. Augustine of Hippo

Our father among the saints, Augustine is one of the great Church Fathers of the fourth century. He was the eldest son of Saint Monica. At the end of his life (426-428) Augustine revisited his previous works in chronological order and suggested what he would have said differently in a work titled the Retractions, which gives us a remarkable picture of the development of a writer and his final thoughts.

The Lord Jesus, the Only begotten of the Father, Co-eternal with His Parent, like Him Invisible, like Him Omnipotent, as God Equal to Him, became Man for us, as you know, and have received, and hold fast in faith; and though He took to Himself a human form, He did not give up the divine.  Omnipotence was veiled; infirmity made manifest.  He was born, as you have come to know, that we might be reborn.  He died, that we might not die for ever.  And straightaway, that is, on the third day, He rose again from the dead; assuring us that we too shall rise on the last day.

Continue reading Sermon On The Ascension

On The Lord’s Ascension II

by St. Leo the Great

Our father among the saints, Leo the Great was the bishop of Rome during difficult times. He was an eminent scholar of Scripture and rhetoric. During an invasion by Attila the Hun, St. Leo met him outside the gates of Rome. After some short words, to everyone’s surprise, Attila turned and left.

Three years later, during an invasion by Genseric the Vandal, St. Leo’s intercession again saved the Eternal City from destruction.

The Ascension Completes Our Faith in Him, Who Was God As Well as Man.

The mystery of our salvation, dearly-beloved, which the Creator of the universe valued at the price of His blood, has now been carried out under conditions of humiliation from the day of His bodily birth to the end of His Passion.

Continue reading On The Lord’s Ascension II

On The Lord’s Ascension I

by St. Leo the Great

St. Leo the GreatOur father among the saints, Leo the Great was the bishop of Rome during difficult times. He was an eminent scholar of Scripture and rhetoric. During an invasion by Attila the Hun, St. Leo met him outside the gates of Rome. After some short words, to everyone’s surprise, Attila turned and left.

Three years later, during an invasion by Genseric the Vandal, St. Leo’s intercession again saved the Eternal City from destruction.

I. The Events Recorded as Happening After the Resurrection Were Intended to Convince Its Truth.

Since the blessed and glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the Divine power in three days raised the true Temple of God, which the wickedness of the Jews had overthrown, the sacred forty days, dearly-beloved are to-day ended, which by most holy appointment were devoted to our most profitable instruction, so that, during the period that the Lord thus protracted the lingering of His bodily presence, our faith in the Resurrection might be fortified by needful proofs.

Continue reading On The Lord’s Ascension I

On The Lord’s Ascension

by the Venerable St. Bede of Jarrow

Our father among the saints, the Venerable Bede of Jarrow,  (c. 672 – May 25, 735) was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Wearmouth (today part of Sunderland), and of its daughter monastery, Saint Paul’s, in modern Jarrow. He is well known as an author and scholar, whose best-known work is Historia ecclesiastica gentis AnglorumThe Ecclesiastical History of the English People), which gained him the title ‘The Father of English History.’

St. Bede wrote on many other topics, from music and musical metrics to scripture commentaries.

Concerning the place of our Lord’s Ascension, the aforesaid author, St. Adamnan, writes thus. Continue reading On The Lord’s Ascension