The feast of the Ascension can be one of those feast days that seems utterly bizarre and irrelevant - it is so mythological and pre-scientific to border of pointless. Or if we can reclaim it somehow in our understanding of its place in the life of Jesus, we can still be left wondering what this means for us. One bridge that we first have to cross is the acknowledgment that much of our thinking is not biblical - we are more formed by the systems of thought that the western world has taken from the ancient Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle than they are by the rich eastern and Hebrew spirituality of the Bible. We tend to think of the world in a dualistic way - divisions between spirit and matter, between good and bad, here and there, now and then. When we think of heaven and earth, we try to fit them into one or several of these dichotomies. But this doesn't help us to approach the Ascension and its meaning - to do this we must dive into the original biblical vision.
Recorded at Mater Dolorosa, 8.30am (11'15")
Ascension Sunday. Acts 1:1-11; Matthew 28:16-20.