St Gregory on the Ascension (Octave Day 6)

From a Homily by Pope St Gregory the Great:

We must ponder the meaning of these words of Mark, "He sat on the right hand of God," and how that Stephen said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." Wherefore doth Mark say that He sat, whereas Stephen testifieth that he saw Him standing But ye know, my brethren, that to sit is for him that judgeth, to stand, for him that fighteth, or helpeth.

Since therefore, our Redeemer is ascended up into heaven, and even now is Judge of all, beside that at the end of the world He will so come, therefore doth Mark say that He sitteth where He hath gone up, because we look for Him, after that His glorious Ascension, that He will come again at the end to be our Judge. But Stephen, while yet he was in the throes of the battle, saw Him That was helping him standing. Stephen on earth was overcoming the unbelief of his persecutors, but it was the grace of Him That is in heaven that fought in him all the while.

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