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172

Part One

A

rticle

6

HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, AND IS SEATED

AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER

ALMIGHTY

659

“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.”

532

Christ’s body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as

proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently

and permanently enjoys.

533

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-

nary humanity.

534

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

right hand.

535

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.

536

660

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.”

537

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.

661

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.

538

“No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from

heaven, the Son of man.”

539

Left to its own natural powers human­

ity does not have access to the “Father’s house,” to God’s life and

happiness.

540

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.

541

532

Mk

16:19.

533 Cf.

Lk

24:31;

Jn

20:19, 26.

534 Cf.

Acts

1:3; 10:41;

Mk

16:12;

Lk

24:15;

Jn

20:14-15; 21:4.

535 Cf.

Acts

1:9; 2:33; 7:56;

Lk

9:34-35; 24:51;

Ex

13:22;

Mk

16:19;

Ps

110:1.

536

1 Cor

15:8; cf. 9:1;

Gal

1:16.

537

Jn

20:17.

538 Cf.

Jn

16:28.

539

Jn

3:13; cf.

Eph

4:8-10.

540

Jn

14:2.

541

Roman Missal,

Preface of the Ascension: “

sed ut illuc confideremus, sua

membra, nos subsequi quo ipse, caput nostrum principiumque, praecessit.

645

66

697

642

461

792