Happy Solemnity of the Ascension!
We celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord this year on Thursday, May 5. What role does the Ascension play in the life of the Church?
The Lord ascended into Heaven. He returned to the right hand of the Father, to the Holy of Holies in Heaven — He, the Temple of the Living God, humanity joined to divinity, the Word made Flesh, the heavenly Jerusalem, was raised up to the Father.
He ascended up to Heaven, and took us with Him. As Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, explains in The 'One Thing' Is Three, we are joined to Jesus through Baptism and the Eucharist. We share in the divine life and love of God through the sacramental life and through faith, joining to the Mystical Body of Christ as members — one Lord, one faith, one Baptism. We are one with Him. Where we go, He goes, if we are in the state of grace and live our baptismal calling. Where He goes, we go, for He is forever faithful and true.
And so we are lodged, if we remain in the communion with the Trinity through Jesus, right in the heart of the divine life, right in the midst of the dance of the Trinity of Persons, all sharing life and love eternally.
By His Ascension, our High Priest brings the Lamb of God, slain for the life of the world, into the Holy of Holies and offers sacrifice to the Father. He presents Himself in reparation for the sins of the world out of love, becoming the covenantal meal that seals the relationship between God and humanity and makes us all one family of the Living God.
This entry into Heaven as the great High Priest is revealed very clearly in the Divine Mercy Image, as Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, the great Divine Mercy expert, has repeatedly explained. In the image, we see Jesus entering the Upper Room where the disciples have gathered on Easter Sunday. He has passed through the locked door and is showing them the wounds in His hands, feet, and side. He is as a Lamb who was slain. He is dressed in the garments of the priest, come to offer sacrifice to the living God. From His pierced Heart pour forth rays of red and pale, signifying the Blood and Water that flowed from His side, through which we receive the graces of Baptism and the Eucharist, which constitute the Church, the household of the living God, and restore us to life and a communion of love with the Trinity. He comes to offer us peace, and goes to God to intercede on our behalf.
On this Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, let us recommit to offering the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in reparation for our sins and those of the whole world, trusting in the merciful Jesus to intercede on our behalf and restore to life a world locked in darkness. His is the path of freedom. His is the path right out of a fallen world still descending further into darkness and sin, leading right up to the throne of God the Father, rich in mercy. Come, let us worship.