There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Tomorrow marks the feast of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, 40 days after His resurrection. The icon of the feast notes the mystery of the event by placing Christ within a circle, known as a Mandorla, the traditional way to denote that something is beyond or normal vision or understanding. The Scriptures say that among the disciples who were present at His ascension, there were some “who doubted.”
It is a remarkable statement for those who presume an “objective” character to all forms of true knowledge. Obviously, the authors of Scripture did not share such a presumption.
Christ’s Ascension affirms that He has carried our humanity into the highest heaven and that it is seated “at the right hand of the Father.” It is a promise of a fullness to come and of the fullness which is made known to us, even now, in Christ Jesus.
The traditional greeting on the feast, taken from the Psalms: “God has gone up with a shout; the Lord with the sound of the trumpet.”