Ave Maria Meditations
This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11)
The Ascension of Jesus gives rise to manifold sentiments in the faithful soul that contemplates it. If Christ no longer merits, His Ascension has, however, the virtue of efficaciously producing the graces that it signifies or symbolizes.
It strengthens our faith in the Divinity of Jesus; it increases our hope by the vision of the glory of our Head by stirring us up to the observance of His commandments on which our merits rest, and that are themselves the principle of our future beatitude, it still further enkindles our love. It engenders in us wonder at so marvelous a triumph, and gratitude for the share in it that Christ gives to us. Lifting up our souls towards heavenly realities, it quickens in us detachment from passing things: Seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God, not the things upon the earth. (Col.3:.1-2) It gives us patience in adversity for, says St. Paul, if we suffer with Christ, we shall also share in His glory: so if we suffer with Him, we may be also be glorified with Him. (Rom.8:17)
There are two dispositions upon which I would dwell with you a few instants because, springing with special abundance from the contemplation of this mystery, they are singularly profitable for our souls: they are joy and confidence.
And first of all why should we rejoice?
Our Lord Himself said to His Apostles before leaving them: if you loved Me, you would indeed be glad because I go to the Father. (Jn.14:28) To us, too, Christ repeats those words. If we love Him, we shall rejoice in His glorification; we shall rejoice in that having finished His course, He ascends to His Father’s right hand, to be there exalted to the highest heaven; there to taste, after His labors, sufferings, and death, eternal repose in incommensurable glory. Bliss, such as is incomprehensible to us, envelops and penetrates Him forever in the bosom of the Divinity. Supreme power is given Him over every creature.
How can we fail to rejoice in that justice is rendered in all fullness to Jesus, by His Father. See how the Church invites us, in her liturgy, to celebrate with gladness this elevation of her Bridegroom, our God and our Redeemer.
With this deep joy we ought to combine unwavering confidence. This confidence especially rests on the almighty power of mediation that Christ has with His Father, not only as an invincible King entering into His triumph, but as a supreme High Priest interceding for us, after having offered to His Father an oblation of infinite worth. Now, it is on the day of His Ascension that Jesus, in a special manner, began this unique mediation. We have here a very interior aspect of the mystery on which it is highly useful to dwell for some instants. May the Holy Spirit grant us to understand how marvelous are the divine works.
Blessed Columba Marmion: Christ in His Mysteries