Wednesday, December 23, 2015

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

YOUCAT Question n. 109 - Part III. 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 663) Henceforth Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father: "By 'the Father's right hand' we understand the glory and honour of divinity, where he who exists as Son of God before all ages, indeed as God, of one being with the Father, is seated bodily after he became incarnate and his flesh was glorified" (St. John Damascene, De fide orth. 4, 2: PG 94, 1104C). (CCC 664) Being seated at the Father's right hand signifies the inauguration of the Messiah's kingdom, the fulfilment of the prophet Daniel's vision concerning the Son of man: "To him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed" (Dan 7:14). After this event the apostles became witnesses of the "kingdom [that] will have no end" (Nicene Creed).      

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 665) Christ's Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus' humanity into God's heavenly domain, whence he will come again (cf. Acts 1:11); this humanity in the meantime hides him from the eyes of men (cf. Col 3:3). (CCC 666) Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father's glorious kingdom so that we, the members of his Body, may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever. (CCC 667) Jesus Christ, having entered the sanctuary of heaven once and for all, intercedes constantly for us as the mediator who assures us of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit.    

(The next question is:  Why is Jesus Christ the Lord of the whole world?)

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