Monday, December 21, 2015

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 109 - Part I.

YOUCAT Question n. 109 - Part I. What does it mean to say that Jesus ascended into heaven?

(Youcat answer) With Jesus, one of us has arrived home with God and remains there forever. In his Son, God is close to us men in a human way. Moreover, Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (Jn 12:32).         

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 659) "So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God" (Mk 16:19). Christ's body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys (Cf. Lk 24:31; Jn 20:19, 26). But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity (Cf. Acts 1:3; 10:41; Mk 16:12; Lk 24:15; Jn 20:14-15; 21:4). Jesus' final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God's right hand (Cf. Acts 1:9; 2:33; 7:56; Lk 9:34-35; 24:51; Ex 13:22; Mk 16:19; Ps 110:1). Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul "as to one untimely born", in a last apparition that established him as an apostle (1 Cor 15:8; cf. 9:1; Gal 1:16).      

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) In the New Testament, the Ascension of Christ marks the end of forty days during which the risen Lord was especially close to his disciples. At the end of this time, Christ, together with his whole humanity, enters into the glory of God. Sacred Scripture expresses this through the images of cloud and heaven or sky. “Man”, says Pope Benedict XVI, “finds room in God.” Jesus Christ is now with the Father, and from there he will come one day “to judge the living and the dead”. Christ’s Ascension into heaven means that Jesus is no longer visible on earth yet is still present.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 660) The veiled character of the glory of the Risen One during this time is intimated in his mysterious words to Mary Magdalene: "I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God" (Jn 20:17). This indicates a difference in manifestation between the glory of the risen Christ and that of the Christ exalted to the Father's right hand, a transition marked by the historical and transcendent event of the Ascension.    

(This question: What does it mean to say that Jesus ascended into heaven? is continued)

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