Exalted Above the Heavens
"Ye Men of Galilee, why wonder you, looking up to heaven? Alleluia.
He shall so come as you have seen Him going up into heaven,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!" (Acts 1:11)
"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.
"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."
- From a Sermon by St. Augustine
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God: that we, who believe Thine onlybegotten Son, our Redeemer, to have ascended on this day into heaven, may also ourselves dwell in mind amid heavenly things. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Who with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth, God, world without end.
- Collect: The Ascension of our Lord
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