HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, AND IS SEATED
AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER
“So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was
taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.”
Christ’s body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as
proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently
and permanently enjoys.
But during the forty days when he eats
and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the
kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordi-
Jesus’ final apparition ends with the irreversible
entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud
and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God’s
Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would
Jesus show himself to Paul “as to one untimely born,” in a last
apparition that established him as an apostle.
The veiled character of the glory of the Risen One during
this time is intimated in his mysterious words toMaryMagdalene:
“I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and
say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my
God and your God.”
This indicates a difference in manifestation
between the glory of the risen Christ and that of the Christ exalted
to the Father’s right hand, a transition marked by the historical and
transcendent event of the Ascension.
This final stage stays closely linked to the first, that is, to
his descent from heaven in the Incarnation. Only the one who
“came from the Father” can return to the Father: Christ Jesus.
“No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from
heaven, the Son of man.”
Left to its own natural powers human
ity does not have access to the “Father’s house,” to God’s life and
Only Christ can open to man such access that we, his
members, might have confidence that we too shall go where he, our
Head and our Source, has preceded us.
1:9; 2:33; 7:56;
15:8; cf. 9:1;
Preface of the Ascension: “
sed ut illuc confideremus, sua
membra, nos subsequi quo ipse, caput nostrum principiumque, praecessit.