Thursday, June 05, 2008

Christ is Ascended! He Has Gone Up with a Shout!

"The body of the Lord is not a spirit, but it is spiritual, that is, it has no part in any coarseness, and is governed by the spirit. For the body which we have now is animate [psychikon], governed by the soul and made alive by natural and animate attributes and faculties. But the body after the resurrection Paul calls spiritual, that is, made alive and governed by the divine spirit, and not by the soul, transformed in an ineffable and spiritual manner into incorruption and preserved incorruptible."

"By eating a piece of broiled fish, He indicates that He has consumed with the fire of his divinity our human nature which had been swimming in the salty sea of this life, and He has scorched away all the damp slime our nature had taken on as it sank into the depths and was battered by the waves. Thus He made our nature food fit for God, fashioning that which before was defiled into sweet food of which God can commune.... Another meaning, namely, active virtue which, aided by the coals of the asceticism of the desert and of the hesychast life, removes everything that is moist and fat. And the honeycomb suggests knowledge and divine vision, for the words of God are sweet. There is also another kind of comb, one full of wasps, which leave no honey. This signifies the wisdom of the pagan Greeks. But the honeycomb suggests the sweetness of divine wisdom[, left by Christ]. For Christ is like the bee, which is small in size (for the Word is concise and weak in worldly power...). Yet is beloved by both kings and commoners, who apply the product of its toils for their health and healing."

"He was carried up into heaven. It was written of Elijah that he was carried up as it were into heaven (IV Kings (II Kings) 2:11). For Elijah only seemed as if he were carried up into heaven. But the Savior ascended into heaven itself as the Forerunner of all men, to appear before the face of God together with His holy Flesh, and to reveal His Flesh co-enthroned with the Father. And now our nature in Christ is worshipped by the whole angelic host."

~ Bd. Theophylact on the feastday gospel reading from Luke 24


Benjamin said...

It is a true Christian "humanism" - man is crowned as the King of creation and is - in the flesh - ruling with God. What a beautiful thought and beautiful feast!

Mimi said...

Happy Feast!