Solemnity of the Ascension

Insight from Father Olier
Wednesday 16 May 2012
by  Ronald Witherup
popularity : 10%

On this Solemnity of the Ascension, we Sulpicians recall that our founder, Jean-Jacques OLIER (1608-1657) often reflected on the multiple aspects of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Through his meditation on scripture for the solemnity of the Ascension, Olier reflected at length on various passages of scripture, such as Acts 1:1-11 and parts of John’s Gospel where Jesus speaks of his return to the Father (e.g., John 16:28; 17:1-5; 20:17).

In his Christian Catechism for the Interior Life, Father Olier offers a brief reflection on the importance of the “mystery” of the Ascension. He calls it “a perfect state of being utterly consumed in God, a state of achieved triumph and glory, a state in which no (human) weakness can exist” (#25). In his Ascension, Jesus fulfilled His promise to return to His heavenly Father, whence he could continually intervene on our behalf. His Ascension is a complete participation in the glory of God that is promised to all believers. It is a promise for us, even in our present human weakness, to anticipate.

A Window from the Church of Saint Sulpice, Paris

We recall the words of the Collect for today’s Eucharist:

Gladden us with holy joys, Almighty God, and make us rejoice with devout thanksgiving, for the Ascension of Christ your Son is our exaltation, and where the Head has gone before in glory, we hope to follow in hope.

In the spirit of Father Olier, we pray: Through your admirable Ascension, Lord, deliver us from all weakness and bring us to your glory!