Thursday, 21 May 2020

Ascension

Today has been the feast of the Ascension. We live streamed our second Mass, celebrated beautifully by Fr Andy, with me doing the readings and intercessions. It says on YouTube that we have had over 120 views, which is great.
It always impresses me that when Jesus appeared to the Apostles on Easter evening, he showed them his hands and his side, in other words his wounds. We might have expected his wounds to have disappeared now he was risen, but no. THen if we move forward to the Ascension, we can assume that he still had those wounds, and that he has gone to heaven with them. The wounds, the signs of suffering, of pain and brokenness, of humanity, have been taken up into the divine realm, not left behind or shrugged off. 
I once distinguished between wounds and scars in a homily, suggesting that those of Our Lord are better described as scars, as they are no longer bloody. He does not take his suffering itself into heaven, but the effect on his humanity. 
This evenng I watched a difficult documentary about the comedian Tony Slattery. The wounds and pains of life were very, very evident. The source of some of the wounds emerged with hardly watchable candour. We can carry such deep wounds and scars in our lives. But the Ascension, it seems to me, has something to say about it. Change can be made, resurrection can happen, and we can rise, ascend from the place where we think we are tied down. It does not always mean that our scars will disappear any more than those of Jesus disappeared. We can ascend with him, not only into the next life, but here on earth as well.   

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