Since Pascha, we’ve proudly proclaimed “Christ is Risen” because, through divine mystery, we’ve been participating in the time between Christ’s resurrection and his ascension to the right hand of the Father. Well this Thursday, Christ ascends to heaven and we on earth await the coming of the Holy Spirit. Join us tomorrow night at 6:00 pm to celebrate the ascension.
It is interesting that the service of Ascension has a certain sadness to it, as the disciples part with Christ’s bodily presence among them. But the consolation, The Comforter, will come in 10 days, when we’ll complete this 50-day journey. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that this, like Lent, is a journey, even more intensely filled with anticipation and longing. Note that we “fast” from reading the prayer to the Holy Spirit, “Heavenly King…”. We often sort of sit back/drop the ball after Lent is over, but these 50 days are the next phase of the journey. And the recent Sundays have all talked about long-term anticipation, thirst, etc.: the paralytic waited 38 years; the Samaritan woman came to the well to quench her thirst; the blind man endured his blindness since birth… Just thinking aloud here on this cloudy morning in Vienna! Christ is risen! And ascending soon!
– Sister Vassa