In the homily today Fr Gabriel reminded us that while it might seem that the Ascension is the reverse feast of Christmas, this in fact is not the case. This seems to supported by the spatial symbolism we often use; that Christ came down to us in His Incarnation, and in His Ascension He returned whence He had come. Fr Gabriel said that this was not the case at all - in fact it was more complicated, but we should not be put off by the complication. Christianity reveals things to us that requires us to stretch our minds. He said that if it does not stretch us it is very likely not Christianity. The first thing to grasp is that Christ did not return as He came. The second thing is that the incarnation was not undone by the ascension. The crucial thing for us to appreciate as we celebrate the Ascension was that Jesus Christ, God made man, was at the right hand of the Father. Christ brings His humanity to God's right hand. He is God's right hand man, if you like. Thus the Ascension is a time for joy not sorrow, because otherwise we would be mourning our loss of Christ. Instead we celebrate the elevation of our humanity to the very godhead, and because of this Christ is present to us through the Holy Spirit. He is really, truly, personally present to each and every one of us. Alleluia!
Following our mass today there was so much female veneration of our newborn, Rose, that I forgot to check the developments in the pond - please forgive.
I ask you to especially remember seven of us in your prayers who are to be ordained priest by the Bishop of Plymouth, on Friday 17th June at 7pm, at Plymouth Cathedral.
David Lashbrooke, Ian Hellyer, John Greatbatch, Colin Furness, Robin Ellis, Simon Chinery, and Michael Cain.