Numerous manuscript paintings, such as this one from the early thirteenth century, show the Apostles and Our Lady gazing up at the feet of Jesus as he disappears into the heavens. We can imagine their sorrow and confusion. But we rejoice, for where he has gone, we hope to follow. His glorious Ascension into heaven is our destiny, our promised inheritance. As members of his Body, the Ascension of Jesus is the first moment of our own disappearance into God.
"I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me," we hear Jesus tell his Father. His love has the power to draws us where he is in glory, our work is to be utterly nonresistant to this love.
Yes, angels tremble when they see
how changed is our humanity;
that flesh hath purged what flesh had stained,
and God, the flesh of God, hath reigned.
Ascension in an Initial V, Niccolò di Ser Sozzo (Sienese, active 1348– died 1363), The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Used with permission. Lines from Æterne Rex Altissime, the monastic hymn for the Ascension.