• Happy summer vacation to all students and faculty!
• Students return for next school year on Sunday, August 18.
For information on football practices, contact Fr. Vianney.
Today, Holy Mother Church celebrates the Solemnity of our Lord’s Ascension into heaven. It is, you can say, the last stage in Christ’s earthly life, the crowning moment of His work of redemption, His “victory lap”, so to speak: having redeemed man by His Passion and Death, having manifested His power over death and sin by His own Resurrection, our Lord now ascends to the Father, from where He came. But this is more than just a commemoration of God’s victory. For, as great as that is, God never really had to compete in any contest. God has always been the Ruler, the King, the Almighty One. There is no need for Him to celebrate a victory, when there never really was any contest. No, this is more than just God’s victory: it is man’s victory.
When Christ ascended into heaven, it was certainly by His divine power that He did so. Man cannot do such a thing—obviously. But remember that Christ is both God and man, which means that when He ascended, it was human nature that was exalted—no doubt, a human nature that was hypostatically united to a divine nature in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, a human nature that was free from all sin, but a human nature nonetheless. And so, just as in the first Adam all men sinned, insofar as we all share that same human nature, wounded at the Fall; so, in Christ, the Second Adam, all men were redeemed, since Christ took on that same human nature in order to pay back the debt owed; and all who are incorporated into Christ through faith and Baptism, will someday follow Christ in His glorious Resurrection and Ascension. In Christ’s Ascension, then, it is both God’s power and man’s victory that are celebrated. As St Leo the Great once wrote: At Easter it was the Lord’s Resurrection that was the cause for our rejoicing; today, at the Ascension, we commemorate the day when the lowliness of our human nature was raised in Christ higher than the whole host of heaven, higher than all the orders of angels, even to the very throne of God the Father.
God manifesting His power through our human nature; man exalted by God’s power. What our Lord did today, on the day of His Ascension, He continues to do ever since: He manifests His power through our human nature—teaching, ruling and sanctifying us through His Church, through His ministers the priests by means of His 7 sacraments—stooping down, so to speak, making use of the things of this world, mere material realities, to communicate His heavenly grace. And He does this in order to raise us up to Himself, in Whom alone man be victorious. For this “victory of human nature” that took place at the moment of the Ascension is far from some sort of Enlightenment-like exaltation of man, where man becomes the end all, capable of saving himself without God. No, today human nature is victorious but only in Christ, only because of Christ, only for Christ.
How wonderful it must have been for those disciples who witnessed the Ascension! To see our human nature, enslaved to the devil since the Fall; human nature wounded by sin; human nature
which in Christ underwent the bitter punishment for sin (even though there was no sin in Him)—to see that human nature ascending to heaven which would henceforth be its proper home, its final resting place. All because Christ took on our human nature in order to save it.
God manifesting His power through our human nature; man exalted by God’s power. As we continue this Holy Mass, where God comes down once again in all His power to meet our humanity, let us pray that He will raise us up, bringing us ever close to heaven our true home, where He lives with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever. Amen.
• For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
• For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
• For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
• For the Sturkie Family’s very special intention.
• For the Church.