The Lord’s resurrection brought us joy; so should His Ascension, as we recall the event that exalted our lowly nature beyond the angels and highest created powers to the Father’s side. These divine actions provide a sure foundation; through them God’s grace works marvelously to keep our faith firm, our hope confident, and love ardent, even though the visible events as such are now part of history.
Even the blessed Apostles, despite the signs they saw and the sermons they heard, were fearful when the Lord suffered, and did not accept His Resurrection unhesitatingly. So much did His Ascension influence them, however, that all fear was turned to joy. Their minds contemplated the divine Christ at the Father’s side; no earthly trial could distract them from the fact that Christ had not left the Father when He descended nor left the disciples when He returned.
Therefore, beloved, the Son of Man who is Son of God has in an ineffable way become more present to us in his Godhead now that He has departed from us in His humanity. Faith now reaches to the Son, who is equal to the Father, and no longer needs the bodily presence of Jesus, in which He is less than the Father. For though His incarnate nature continues to exist, faith is summoned to touch the only-begotten Son, not with bodily sense but with spiritual understanding.
St. Leo the Great
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