Cosmology and the Ascension


Last night, as I lay in bed, I looked out the window and saw the moon. It was quite beautiful. It is currently in its crescent shape. Like so many images of the Blessed Virgin, she is depicted as standing on the moon. This, of course, derives from Revelation 12:1
“And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

Being sentimental, I imagined the Blessed Mother standing on the moon.

I recalled how I learned as a child that the moon “reflected the light of the sun.” I somehow thought that moon was a mirror because it “reflected” but now I understand the meaning of it all. Of course, many authors have used this cosmological imagery to describe the radiance of Christ and how Mary only reflects her Divine Son’s light. She is not the source of light, she only reveals the light that comes from Christ. In the words of Revelation – she is “clothed with the sun.”

Christ himself is associated with the sun. “The sun of righteousness shall rise” (Mal 4:2). And the Revelation also uses this motif. “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev 21:23).

This made me think about the Ascension of Christ. In the world to come, there will be no sun. Christ will be the sole source of light. It will be a new creation – a new universe. The Ascension of Christ is the first installment in that new creation. The “Sun” of the world to come has been fixed in the firmament, just as the sun was placed in the firmament in at the first creation. So also the Assumption of Mary hints at the “feminine light” of the new creation – that light that perfectly reflects the righteousness of God. And then there are the stars – the saints. Scripture repeatedly refers to the holy ones as stars. God’s promise to Abraham was to make his descendants “like the stars of the sky.” This refers not only to their great number, but to their exaltation and brilliance.

The cosmos is the Temple of God’s glory. It was defaced by sin, but through redemption in Chirst, God is “redecorating” it.

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