THE ASCENSION & TAKING CARE OF MY BODY
“When You had fulfilled the dispensation for our sake (Τὴν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πληρώσας οἰκονομίαν / Еже о нас исполнив смотрение), / and united the earthly to the heavenly: / You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, / in nowise departing but remaining without stepping away, / and crying out to those who love You: // ‘I am with you and no one (prevails) against you! (Ἐγώ εἰμι μεθ᾽ὑμῶν, καὶ οὐδεὶς καθ᾽ὑμῶν. / Аз есмь с вами и никтоже на вы.)’” (Byzantine Kontakion-Hymn of the Ascension)
This Thursday, we Orthodox Christians celebrate the Ascension of our incarnate Lord, Jesus Christ, up into the heavens, in His resurrected, human body. So I’m reminded of the great dignity of my physical body, which my Lord has willed to elevate even up into the heavens, where He is now, “in nowise departing” from our lives, but “remaining” with us, as One of us, even in His heavenly “place” at the right hand of the Father. He remains able and willing, as One of us, to “be” with us, in the challenges we face, – not only the “spiritual” ones, involving our spiritual well-being, – but also the physical ones, which involve taking care of our physical health.
Today let me take seriously my body, and take care of it, as it has been dignified and elevated to the heavens by the God-Man Jesus Christ. Let me look to improve my daily “discipline” of eating, drinking, exercising, and sleeping in a healthy and timely manner, because a “disciple” is one who has “discipline.” It is “discipline” that reveals me as a “disciple” or student/follower of Christ. Thank You, Lord, for remaining with us, and elevating us, in our struggles to maintain both our spiritual and physical health, in communion with You.