My Thoughts on 13/05/2021

Places in the Holy Land associated with significant moments in the life of Christ are, more often than not, marked by churches that are visited by thousands of pilgrims.

The one exception is the traditional site of the Ascension of Jesus which is on the Mount of Olives. There were churches built on this site in the 4th, 7th and 12th century but with the fall of Jerusalem in the 1187 in was in the hands of Muslims and remains so us to today.

As a pilgrim you enter a court yard with which stands a small round chapel dating from the crusader era. Inside a mihrab has been added indicating the direction of Mecca. There is on a floor, inside a stone frame the “Ascension rock” which is said to show the right footprint of Christ. So this is seen as a lasting sign that indicates Christ was here on earth.

In Marks account read for today’s feast of the Ascension the last words of are

“And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place, while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.”

Jesus is at the right hand of the Father but he is is still with us, not in the imprint on a rock, but in words and signs of the Church today. In leaving us, he is with us a new and powerful way. In the Eucharist and as the Spirit.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest