Cyril-of-JerusalemTo this day stands Mount Olivet, still to the eyes of the faithful all but displaying Him Who ascended on a cloud, and the heavenly gate of His ascension.

For from heaven He descended to Bethlehem, but to heaven He ascended from the Mount of Olives.

At the former place He began His conflicts among men, and in the latter, He was crowned after them.

You have, therefore, many witnesses. You have this very place of the Resurrection.

You have also the place of the Ascension towards the east.

You have also for witnesses the Angels which there bore testimony; and the cloud on which He went up, and the disciples who came down from that place.

[…]  Remember what is distinctly written in the Psalms, God is gone up with a shout  (Ps.46/47:5). Remember that the divine powers also said to one another, Lift up your gates, ye Princes (Ps. 23/24:7),  and the rest.

Remember also the Psalm which says, He ascended on high, He led captivity captive (Ps. 67/68:18). Remember the Prophet who said, Who buildeth His ascension unto heaven (Amos 9:6).

When they speak against the ascension of the Saviour, as being impossible, remember the account of the carrying away of Habakkuk….

For if Habakkuk was transported by an Angel, being carried by the hair of his head (Bel and the Dragon 5:33), much rather was the Lord of both Prophets and Angels able by His own power to make His ascent into the Heavens on a cloud from the Mount of Olives.

Wonders like this you may call to mind, but reserve the preeminence for the Lord, the Worker of wonders. For the others were borne up, but He bears up all things.

Remember that Enoch was translated (Heb. 11:5), but Jesus ascended. Remember what was said yesterday concerning Elias, that Elias was taken up in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11), but that the chariots of Christ are ten thousand-fold even thousands upon thousands  (Ps. 67/68:17).

Remember that Elias was taken up, towards the east of Jordan, but that Christ ascended at the east of the brook Cedron;  and that Elias went as into heaven, but Jesus into heaven.

And remember that Elias said that a double portion in the Holy Spirit should be given to his holy disciple, but that Christ granted to His own disciples so great enjoyment of the grace of the Holy Ghost as not only to have It in themselves, but also, by the laying on of their hands, to impart the fellowship of It to them who believed.

Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 313-386): Catechetical Lectures 14, 23-25.

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