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Augustine's Homily on the Feast of the
Today our Lord Jesus Christ
ascended into heaven; let our hearts
ascend with him. Listen to the words of
the Apostle: If you have risen with
Christ, set your hearts on the things
that are above where Christ is, seated
at the right hand of God; seek the
things that are above, not the things
that are on earth.
For just as he remained with us even
after his ascension, so we too are
already in heaven with him, even though
what is promised us has not yet been
fulfilled in our bodies.
Christ is now exalted above the heavens,
but he still suffers on earth all the
pain that we, the members of his body,
have to bear. He showed this when he
cried out from above: Saul, Saul, why do
you persecute me? and when he said: I
was hungry and you gave me food.
Why do we on earth not strive to find
rest with him in heaven even now,
through the faith, hope and love that
unites us to him? While in heaven he is
also with us; and we while on earth are
with him. He is here with us by his
divinity, his power and his love. We
cannot be in heaven, as he is on earth,
by divinity, but in him, we can be there
He did not leave heaven when he came
down to us; nor did he withdraw from us
when he went up again into heaven. The
fact that he was in heaven even while he
was on earth is borne out by his own
statement: No one has ever ascended into
heaven except the one who descended from
heaven, the Son of Man, who is in
These words are explained by our oneness
with Christ, for he is our head and we
are his body. No one ascended into
heaven except Christ because we also are
Christ: he is the Son of Man by his
union with us, and we by our union with
him are the sons of God. So the Apostle
says: Just as the human body, which has
many members, is a unity, because all
the different members make one body, so
is it also with Christ. He too has many
members, but one body.
Out of compassion for us he descended
from heaven, and although he ascended
alone, we also ascend, because we are in
him by grace. Thus, no one but Christ
descended and no one but Christ
ascended; not because there is no
distinction between the head and the
body, but because the body as a unity
cannot be separated from the head.
These works portray
unique messages beyond being mere
of the Blessed by
Ascension by Rembrandt
Ascension by William Blake
Images and links are not
provided here because of
copyright restrictions and
because links often become
outdated. However, reproductions
of these works are easy to find
on the Internet.
Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise
Wesley 1739 (Public Domain)
1 Hail the day that sees
him rise, Alleluia!
to his throne beyond the skies. Alleluia!
Christ, the Lamb for sinners given, Alleluia!
enters now the highest heaven. Alleluia!
2 There for him high triumph waits; Alleluia!
lift your heads, eternal gates. Alleluia!
He has conquered death and sin; Alleluia!
take the King of glory in. Alleluia!
3 Highest heaven its Lord receives; Alleluia!
yet he loves the earth he leaves. Alleluia!
Though returning to his throne, Alleluia!
still he calls us all his own. Alleluia!
4 Still for us he intercedes; Alleluia!
his atoning death he pleads, Alleluia!
near himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
he the firstfruits of our race. Alleluia!
5 There we shall with you remain, Alleluia!
partners of your endless reign, Alleluia!
see you with unclouded view, Alleluia!
find our heaven of heavens in you. Alleluia!
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Copyright, James Bennett 2021