The Feast of the Ascension of Christ
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The importance of this historical event, is that Christ ascended into Heaven as man and as God. Having condescended to take on our flesh, becoming both perfect man, and, at the same time, perfect God, he never put off His humanity, but deified it, and made it and us capable of apprehending heavenly things.
The Ascension is important, because those who love God and believe in Him, will join Him in the heavens, in the flesh, just as He now abides in the Heavens in the flesh. Because of His ascension, our flesh and souls will be saved, for Christ made human flesh capable of deification. As deified creatures, we will live forever, united, both body and soul.
Love in Christ,
Christ is Ascended!
From earth to heaven!
Thursday May 17, 2018 / May 4, 2018
The Ascension of our Lord. Tone five.
Holy Georgian Martyrs of Persia (17th-18th c.) (movable holiday on the day of the Holy Ascension) (Georgia).
Virgin-martyr Pelagia of Tarsus in Asia Minor (287).
New Hieromartyr John priest (1942).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas diacon (1943).
The Alfanov brothers: Venerables Nicetas, Cyril, Nicephorus, Clement, and Isaac of Novgorod, founders of the Sokolnitzki Monastery (1389).
Hieromartyr Erasmus, bishop of Formia in Campania (303).
Hieromartyr Albian (Olbian), bishop of Anaea in Asia Minor (304).
Hieromartyr Silvanus of Gaza and with him 40 martyrs (311).
Icon of the Mother of God “Staro Rus” Old Russian (1570).
Venerables Aphrodisius, Leontius, Anthony, Valerian, Macrobius, and others, monks of Palestine.
Translation of the relics of the Righteous Lazarus and Mary Magdalene, Equal-to-the-Apostles.
St. Nicephorus, abbot of Medikion.
St. Ethelred, king of Mercia and monk in England (716) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Nicephorus the Solitary of Mt. Athos, the spiritual father of St. Gregory Palamas (1340) (Greek).
St. Athanasius, bishop of Corinth (10th – 11th c.) (Greek).
Venerable Hilary the Wonderworker of the desert (Greek).
St. Monica of Tagaste (mother of Blessed Augustine) (387).
Martyr Florian and 40 companions, at Lorsch, Austria (304).
The Scripture Readings
Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord
9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
Jesus Appears to Two Disciples
12 After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.
The Great Commission
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Christ Ascends to God’s Right Hand
19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
The Holy Spirit Promised
4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus Ascends to Heaven
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
The Upper Room Prayer Meeting
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish [b]and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.
The Scriptures Opened
44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.