The Ascension and the Incarnation

The Ascension and the Incarnation

The Link Between the Mysteries

Along with Christmas, the Solemnity of the Ascension is one of the most important celebrations of the church year. While going for a walk last December, I began looking deeper into those two great mysteries.

What struck me was that both mysteries bring us to the foundation of our faith. These two events recall moments when heaven touched earth: when Christ was born and when Christ ascends into heaven. The Incarnation-Ascension events clearly demonstrate God’s love for us, by sending his Son and then showing that Jesus is God and the Savior of humanity. God’s love for us is so great as to bring Jesus down from heaven in the mystery of incarnation to save and restore us.

The Mystery of the Ascension fulfills the Mystery of the Incarnation. Christmas is the day in which Christ illumines heaven, earth, and hell. It shines on the earth and in our hearts: “He was the true light” writes Saint John. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;” says the prophet, “upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone” (Is 9:1). Those mysteries of faith reveal to us the Creator of all things.

Painting by Rembrandt

No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven – the Son of Man. The fact is that the Son of God assumed a human nature to become fully human like us in all things except sin. “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.” “The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob forever and his reign will have no end.”

Jesus is the very perfect way of life we should follow. Through the Incarnation, Jesus made each one of us part of his divine existence. He then shared with us what he had received from the Father.

It has been said that every time we receive Him in the Eucharist, the incarnate divine Word becomes flesh in our lives. Thus, the Eucharist is a sign that God is offering us his Son, in whom he had put his trust. This is the Good News of amazing love – love incarnate and love divine.

The Savior of humanity was born to suffer for our sins, to save and to raise us all from the grave when the time comes for our journey here to end. And we shall go to the place where we will remain forever with Christ. He did not come to judge the world, but to save it.

These two signs of Divine Providence continue to touch me more and more. This is my personal experience of God’s wonderful goodness in what He has done for every single one of us.

friar R. Nicholas Maria Lubin OFM Conv.

Friar Nicholas was born in Les Cayes, Haiti, and lived in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for almost five years. He moved to the United States of America in 2013 and became a naturalized citizen in August 2019. He earned a degree in Spanish with a minor in Philosophy at St. Mary’s University San Antonio, Texas in 2020. At the end of his time at STMU, he received a scholarship from the “Seraphicum” (Pontifices Faculty of Theology “St. Bonaventure”) in Roma. Since February 2021 he has been studying the Italian Language, after which he will begin his Theological Studies in the fall of 2021.

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