What is the Ascension?

May 11, 2022

We are not to think of the ascension as a locomotion. We are not to think of our Blessed Lord, for example, as going beyond the farthest star, or to think of him as being so many millions of light years away. Nor are we to think of him as going up from one point to another. Certainly we are not to envisage the ascension as a form of space travel. Our Blessed Lord once had a descent, that is to say that he came down from heaven, but that really did not mean a physical descent.  It was, rather, a drawing aside of the veil in which divinity was revealed to humanity. So, too, the ascension is not like a rocket. Our Lord is no closer to heaven if we imagine him passing the star Arcturus. Rather the ascent and the descent that are mentioned in the Creed and in Christian doctrine refer to humiliation and exaltation. When Jesus came to this earth, he humbled himself. When he ascended into heaven, he was exalted.