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Sunday after Ascension Day


Augustine on Psalm XLVI
Ascension Home

O GOD, the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven; We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Source: Archbishop Cranmer [1549 AD]. The collect is based on the anthem that was sung on Ascension Day at Vespers "O King of Glory, Lord of Hosts, who today didst ascend in triumph far above all heavens, who did not leave us orpahns..." and John xiv "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you " [Barbee and Zahl]

Isaiah lxv. 17; 1 St. Peter iv. 7;  Psalms 108, 110 | 46, 47 , &  St. John xv. 26

Homiliy of Augustine on Psalm XLVI

The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge

  Ascension Sunday Comment

The quotation from Psalm 46 comes from the 7th verse. It is written from the perspective of God as a militant protector, defending his people against their adversaries.  The Lord of Hosts is with us, that is, our Commander is with us. Hosts is the translation for the Hebrew   tsebaah pronounced: "tsaw-baw', tseb-aw-aw'" meaning "a mass of persons (or figurative things), especially regularly organized for war (an army); by implication a campaign, literally or figuratively (specifically hardship, worship): - appointed time, (+) army, (+) battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting upon, war (-fare)."

 In America, the remnants of an antiwar culture still infect the understanding of God and how he revealed himself to his chosen people through the ages. There has been no little effort to separate the God of Jacob, from the God-Man Jesus Christ since the beginning of the Church the heresy under Marcion arose denying the Old Testament. If we are to believe our Lord, then we must understand that he held that all that had been written in the Scriptures (Old Testament) was to be confessed true, and that every image of the Father in those scriptures applied to him, as the Son of God, for he and the Father are one.

Augustine in today's homily writes:

 "The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our taker up" (ver. 7). Not any man, not any power, not, in short, Angel, or any creature either earthly or heavenly, but "the Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our taker up." He who sent Angels, came after Angels, came that Angels might serve Him, came that men He might make equal to Angels. Mighty Grace! If God be for us, who can be against us? "The Lord of Hosts is with us." What Lord of Hosts is with us? "If" (I say) "God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all; how hath He not with Him also freely given [1496] us all things." [1497] Therefore be we secure, in tranquillity of heart nourish we a good conscience with the Bread of the Lord. "The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our taker up." However great be thy infirmity, see who taketh thee up. One is sick, a physician is called to him. His own taken-up, the Physician calleth the sick man. Who hath taken him up? Even He. A great hope of salvation; a great Physician hath taken him up. What Physician? [1498] Every Physician save He is man: every Physician who cometh to a sick man, another day can be made sick, beside Him. "The God of Jacob is our taker up." Make thyself altogether as a little child, such as are taken up by their parents. For those not taken up, are exposed; those taken up are nursed. Thinkest thou God hath so taken thee up, as when an infant thy mother took thee up? Not so, but to eternity. For thy voice is in that Psalm, "My father and my mother forsake me, but the Lord hath taken me up." [1499]

Evidently the translation that Augustine had available used the translation of taker-upper for  the Hebrew mis-gawb' defined as " properly a cliff (or other lofty or inaccessible place); abstractly altitude; figuratively a refuge; misgab; a place in Moab: - defense, high fort (tower), refuge.".
Consider our season of the Ascensiontide, how Jesus was "taken up" by his Father, and how Jesus  promised that we would be taken up too. in the General Resurrection in the end times.

Note how Augustine compares the role of Jesus to that of the Church and Christians of his day who rescued unwanted infants from certain death as they were exposed to the elements by parents who did not wish to be troubled with the child for any and all reasons. There were two types of folk who would gather up these children... one group would make them slaves, even place them in brothels to serve pedophiles and worse. Then there were the Christians who gave the safety and a home with love, and the hope that is in Christ. Ponder that in our modern times and see the relevance.


Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]


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