ASCENT

The Ascension by Garofalo, Italian High Renaissance Painter, ca.1481-1559

DID A CLOUD part Jesus “from our sight”? I don’t know. But the not knowing doesn’t trouble me, for I’ve no doubt in my own heart that Jesus has returned to the Father’s heart. That ascent, that returning (as from an exile) was the point of his life, and of our lives. All our lives. From the time of the Babylonian exile the Jews had spoken of “making aliyah” – of ascent, of a going up, to Jerusalem, Mount Zion, the vision of Peace, the hill of the Lord; a great returning from a place of exile to the fullness of life in the presence of God. And what they yearned for in their exile is what we yearn for in ours. Jesus reminded us of that again and again. And the fulfilment of our yearnings is not to be found in magic tricks, mountain-top encounters, stilled storms or any other “signs and wonders”, nor in temples made with hands, but is, rather, to be a spiritual turning and a re-turning. Metanoia. Stilling enough, silently enough, often enough, to see Life from another angle. To make ascent, to make aliyah, to go up and “into the House of the Lord” is to involve a reaching into the depths of our own hearts, souls, minds and bodies. Ascension is prayer, a constant reaching in and “going up” until the day when all created things cast the “crowns” of their own convoluted sense of their own self-importance before the Divine Self, “lost in wonder, love and praise” and – by now – fully with “him” – “risen, ascended, glorified”.

Look. I am with you (all of you) always
Even unto the end of the age …

Way to go! ALLELUIA!