July 19, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Today the entire Orthodox world celebrates one of the twelfth holidays of the church year – the Ascension of the Lord. The date of the holiday is unique for each year. In 2024, this date is June 13.

The name of the holiday reflects the essence of the event – this is the Ascension of the Lord to Heaven (Η Ανάληψη του Κυρίου), the completion of His earthly ministry and is celebrated annually on the 40th day after Easter.

The number 40 is not random, but meaningful. Throughout Sacred history, this was the time of the end of great feats. According to the law of Moses, on the 40th day, babies were to be brought by their parents to the temple, to the Lord. And now, on the fortieth day after the Resurrection, as if after a new birth, Jesus Christ was to enter the heavenly temple of His Father as the Savior of mankind.

Having conquered death, this terrible consequence of sin, and thereby given the opportunity to resurrect in glory, the Lord exalted human nature, including the human body, in His Person. Thus, the Lord opened to every person the opportunity in the general Resurrection to ascend to the highest abode of light to the very Throne of the Most High. The evangelists Mark and Luke tell us about the event of the Ascension; you can read about this in particular detail in the book of the Acts of the Holy Apostles in chapter 1.

Having given the disciples the last instructions, Jesus Christ “led them out of the city to Bethany and, raising his hands, blessed them. And when he blessed them, he began to move away from them and ascend to heaven. They worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy…”

The Feast of the Ascension is a holiday of Heaven, the opening of Heaven to man as a new and eternal home, Heaven as a true homeland. Sin separated earth from heaven and made us earthly and living on one earth.

This is not about the Universe or outer space. We are talking about Heaven returned to us by Christ, about Heaven that we lost in earthly sciences and ideologies, and which Christ revealed and returned to us. Heaven is the Kingdom of God, this is the kingdom of eternal life, the kingdom of truth, goodness and beauty.

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