One Minute Reflection – 21 May – “Mary’s Month” – Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 18: 1-8, Psalms 98: 1, 2-3, 3-4, John 16: 16-20 and the Memorial of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter OFS (1907-1943) Layman Martyr “The Man Who Would Not Bow His Head to Hitler.”
“A little while and you will see me no longer” … John 16:16
REFLECTION – “The Ascension of Christ into heaven is in accord with reason – firstly, because heaven was due to Christ by His very nature. It is natural for someone to return to the place from whence they take their origin. The beginning of Christ is from God, who is above all things. Jesus says to the Apostles (Jn 16:28): “I came from the Father and have come into the world and now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” … The just ascend into heaven but not in the manner that Christ ascended, namely by His own power, for they are taken up by Christ – “Draw me, we will run after thee.” (Sg 1:3) Or indeed, we can say that no-one but Christ has ascended into heaven, because the just do not ascend, except, insofar as they are members of Christ who is the head of the Church. … Secondly, heaven is due to Christ because of His victory. For He was sent into the world to combat the devil and he did overcome Him. Therefore, Christ deserved to be exalted above all things – “I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne” (Rv 3:21)
Finally, the Ascension was owing to Christ because of His humility. There never was humility so great as that of Christ who, although He was God yet wished to become man and although He was the Lord, yet He wished to take the form of a servant and, as Saint Paul says: “He was obedient even unto death” (Phil 2:7) and descended even into hell. Therefore, He deserved to be exalted even to heaven, to God’s throne, for humility leads to exaltation. “For whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 14:11) and, “the one who descended is also the one who ascended far above all the heavens” (Eph 4:10).” … St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus/Doctor Communis – Commentary on the Apostle’s Creed
PRAYER – Lord God, You bestowed the Holy Spirit on Your Apostles while they were at prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Fill us too with the gift of Your grace in the Holy Spirit, that we may live our lives both in prayer and action and grant, that by Mary’s prayer, and the prayer of Your loving Martyr, Blessed Franz Jagerstatter, we may give You faithful service and spread abroad the glory of Your name, by word and example and thus ascend to You, to live forever in Your Light. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, Your divine Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever, amen.