One Minute Reflection – 8 May – The Third Sunday after Easter – 1 Peter 2:11-19, John 16:16-22 and the Feast of the Apparition of St Michael the Archangel at Monte Gargano, Italy (492)
“A little while now and you shall not see me” – 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 – O God, Who hast ordained and constituted the services of angels and men in a wonderful order, mercifully grant, that as Thy holy Angels alway do Thee service in Heaven, so, by Thy appointment, they may succour and defend us on earth. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
St Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our safeguard against the
wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell, Satan
and all the evil spirits
who prowl throughout the world
seeking the ruin of souls.