The Feast of the Ascension is a happy day. We like imagining that we are standing there with the Apostles watching Jesus going up and up through the clouds.
That was easier for the Apostles than it is for us. They believed heaven to be about fifty miles above the clouds; but our scientific knowledge gets in the way. We know there are space stations orbiting above us, and we know that there are other galaxies thousands of light years up there.
We need to remember that Jesus did not need a physical harbor up there for his body. That was the body that came and went through closed doors.
In a way the Ascension is more about us than about Jesus. What ascended to heaven was our human nature. Just as our sinful nature was with Jesus on the cross, so our saved nature ascended with him to heaven.
Grey’s Elegy in a Country Church Yard stated, “The paths of glory lead but to the grave.” That is not strictly true, with Jesus, our path to glory leads through the clouds.
Our second reading today speaks of our coming to hope for sharing in his glory.
“May the eyes of your heart be enlightened that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones.”