Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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

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

(Youcat answer - repeated) 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 661) This final stage stays closely linked to the first, that is, to his descent from heaven in the Incarnation. Only the one who "came from the Father" can return to the Father: Christ Jesus (Cf. Jn 16:28). "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man" (Jn 3:13; cf. Eph 4:8-10). Left to its own natural powers humanity does not have access to the "Father's house", to God's life and happiness (Jn 14:2). Only Christ can open to man such access that we, his members, might have confidence that we too shall go where he, our Head and our Source, has preceded us (Roman Missal, Preface of the Ascension: sed ut illuc confideremus, sua membra, nos subsequi quo ipse, caput nostrum principiumque, praecessit).     

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 662) "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (Jn 12:32). The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by his Ascension into heaven, and indeed begins it. Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant, "entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands… But into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf" (Heb 9:24). There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for he "always lives to make intercession" for "those who draw near to God through him" (Heb 7:25). As "high priest of the good things to come" he is the centre and the principal actor of the liturgy that honours the Father in heaven (Heb 9:11; cf. Rev 4:6-11).     

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

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