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Mark 16:19
Monday, September 24 2012

The Right Hand of God...

After Jesus had given the Apostles the Great Commission, He ascended into Heaven to be with His Father:

So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.  -Mark 16:19, NAB

Jesus had finally completed what He came to do.  After spending years teaching His disciples about the New Covenant, He had conquered death and ascended into Heaven.  But we know that His Ascension is not the end of the story.

In the Gospel of St. John, we are told:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  -John 1:1, NAB

St. John was, of course, referring to Jesus as the Word.  So Jesus was there before His life began, and He is there, sitting at the right hand of God, now that His life on earth had ended.  Like God the Father, He was, is, and always will be.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read:

"...By "the Father's right hand" we understand the glory and honor of divinity, where he who exists as the Son of God before all ages, indeed as God, of one being with the Father, is seated bodily after he became incarnate and his flesh was glorified.  Being seated at the Father's right hand signifies the inauguration of the Messiah's kingdom..."  -CCC, 663-664

Christ's Kingdom had finally come.  He had taken His rightful place next to His Father, and He established His Kingdom that will have no end.  These beliefs are at the core of our Christian faith, and for that reason, we recite these beliefs in our creeds.

Believing in Christ's Ascension into Heaven is what separates Him from any ordinary prophet.  Great prophets, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Elijah, had roles to play in history, but none of them were divine.  St. John the Baptist, likewise, was just a man.  But we believe Jesus to be so much more.  He is both fully God and fully man.

We are nearing the end of the Gospel of St. Mark, and it has been an adventure studying the life and ministry of Jesus; however, these last couple of chapters and verses, describing Jesus' death on the cross and His Resurrection, are what define us as Christians.  We should not take it lightly.

We have spoken these words many times before, and we hear about Jesus' Ascension throughout the year, especially during and after Lent.  Regardless of how many times we may hear it, we must not become complacent in our faith.  As Jesus ascends into Heaven and takes His place at the right hand of God, we see His divinity fully shining through.  Jesus was, is, and always be our God, one person in the Holy Trinity.

 

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