Luke 24:50

And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
You heard what came to our ears just now from the Gospel: “Lifting up his hands, he blessed them. And it happened, while he was blessing them he withdrew from them, and was carried up to heaven.” Who was carried up to heaven? The Lord Christ was. Who is the Lord Christ? He is the Lord Jesus. What is this? Are you going to separate the human from the divine and make one person of God, another of the man, so that there is no longer a trinity of three but a quaternary of four? Just as you, a human being, are soul and body, so the Lord Christ is Word, soul and body. The Word did not depart from the Father. He both came to us and did not forsake the Father. He both took flesh in the womb and continued to govern the universe. What was lifted up into heaven, if not what had been taken from earth? That is to say, the very flesh, the very body, about which he was speaking when he said to the disciples, “Feel, and see that a spirit does not have bones and flesh, as you can see that I have.” Let ...

Bede

AD 735
Having omitted all those things which may have taken place during forty-three days between our Lord and His disciples, St. Luke silently joins to the first day of the resurrection, the last day when He ascended into heaven, saying, And he led them out as far as to Bethany. First, indeed, because of the name of the place, which signifies “the house of obedience.” ForHe who descended because of the disobedience of the wicked, ascended because of the obedience of the converted. Next, because of the situation of the same village, which is said to be placed on the side of the mount of Olives; because He has placed the foundations, as it were, of the house of the obedient Church, of faith, hope, and love, in the side of that highest mountain, namely, Christ. But He blessed them to whom He had delivered the precepts of His teaching; hence it follows, And he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. When the Lord ascended into heaven, the disciples adoring Him where His feet lately st...

Bede

AD 735
“Then he led them out to Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them.” Our Redeemer appeared in the flesh to take away sins, remove what humans deserved because of the first curse, and grant believers an inheritance of everlasting blessing. He rightly concluded all that he did in the world with words of blessing. He showed that he was the very one of whom it was said, “For indeed he who gave the law will give a blessing.” It is appropriate that he led those whom he blessed out to Bethany, which is interpreted “house of obedience.” Contempt and pride deserved a curse, but obedience deserved a blessing. The Lord himself was made obedient to his Father even unto death, so that he might restore the lost grace of blessing to the world. He gives the blessing of heavenly life only to those who strive in the holy church to comply with the divine commands. ...

Bede

AD 735
We must not pass over the fact that Bethany is on the slope of the Mount of Olives. Just as Bethany represents a church obedient to the commands of the Lord, so the Mount of Olives quite fittingly represents the very person of our Lord. Appearing in the flesh, he excels all the saints, who are simply human beings, by the loftiness of his dignity and the grace of his spiritual power. We chant to him in the Psalms, “God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of happiness above your companions.” The present Gospel reading bears witness that he promised the favor of the same holy anointing to his companions, the faithful. He sent what he had promised, as we know, not long after that. It is delightful to hear how the house of obedience, the holy church, is built on the slope of the Mount of Olives. Let us read the Gospel of John where it said that when his suffering on the cross was fulfilled, “one of the soldiers opened his side with a lance, and immediately blood and water came out.” Th...

Bede

AD 735
“While he was blessing them, he departed from them and was carried into heaven.” We must note that the Savior ascended into heaven after he gave his blessing to his disciples. At the same time, we must remember that, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, angels appeared to them as they were watching his ascension. They said to them, “He will come in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” We must labor with all eagerness to understand that the Lord will descend to judge us in the same form and substance of flesh with which he ascended. Since he departed blessing his apostles, he will also make us worthy of his blessing when he returns. He will give us the same status as those to whom he is going to say as they stand at his right hand, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, receive the kingdom.” ...

Bede

AD 735
“Worshiping, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.” Dearly beloved brothers and sisters, we should always remember, especially in this place, our Lord’s words as he was glorifying his disciples: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” Who is truly capable of describing or of worthily imagining how with blessed sorrow they lowered to the earth the eyes with which they had looked at him whom the heavens were worshiping as their king? He was now returning to the throne of his Father’s glory with the conquered mortal nature that he had taken. How sweet were the tears that they poured out when they were burning with lively hope and gladness over the prospect of their own entry into the heavenly fatherland! They knew that their God and Lord was now bringing there part of their own nature! Such a sight rightly restored them! Then they worshiped in the place where his feet stood. With many tears, they wet the place where h...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and from thence to the mount of Olives. Bethany was about fifteen furlongs [stadia] from Jerusalem, and close by the mount of Olives. Christ went to Bethany to say farewell to Lazarus and his sister, and to bring them with Him to mount Olivet, in order that they might witness His ascension, and share in His triumph. And He lifted up his hands towards heaven, as if seeking a special blessing for his disciples. And blessed them, signing them with the sign of the Cross, as Dionysius the Carthusian and others think. Indeed, S. Jerome, commenting on the words, "I will set a sign upon them," Isaiah 65:19, says, Our ascending Lord left us this sign, or rather placed it on our foreheads, so that we may freely say, "The light of Thy countenance is lifted up upon us, O Lord." For the Cross is the sign of Christ, which is the fountain of all benediction and grace. Hence the tradition which has come down from the time of Christ and the Apostles that in gi...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
Having blessed them and gone ahead a little, he was carried up into heaven so that he might share the Father’s throne even with the flesh that was united to him. The Word made this new pathway for us when he appeared in human form. After this, and in due time, he will come again in the glory of his Father with the angels and will take us up to be with him. Let us glorify him.Being God the Word, he became man for our sakes. He suffered willingly in the flesh, rose from the dead and abolished corruption. He was taken up, and he will come with great glory to judge the living and the dead, to give to every one according to his deeds. Commentary on Luke, Chapter ...

Greek Expositor

AD 1000
And they were watching, praying, and fasting, because indeed they were not living in their own homes, but were abiding in the temple, expecting the grace from on high; among other things also learning from the very place piety and honesty. Hence it is said, And were continually in the temple.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
But observe, that the Lord submits to our sight the promised rewards. He had promised the resurrection of the body; He rose from the dead, and conferred with His disciples for forty days. It is also promised that we shall be caught up in the clouds through the air; this also He made manifest by His works. For it follows, And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted . But you will say, How does this concern me? Because you also shall be taken up inlike manner into the clouds. For your body is of like nature to His body, therefore shall your body be so light, that it can pass through the air. For as is the head, so also is the body; as the beginning, so also the end. See then how you are honored by this beginning. Man was the lowest part of the rational creation, but the feet have been made the head, being lifted up aloft into the royal throne in their head. ...

Leo of Rome

AD 461
Dearly beloved, through all this time between the resurrection of the Lord and his ascension, the providence of God thought of this, taught this and penetrated their eyes and heart. He wanted them to recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as truly risen, who was truly born, truly suffered and truly died. The manifest truth strengthened the blessed apostles and all the disciples who were frightened by his death on the cross and were doubtful of his resurrection. The result was they were not only afflicted with sadness but also were filled with “great joy” when the Lord went into the heights of heaven.It was certainly a great and indescribable source of joy when, in the sight of the heavenly multitudes, the nature of our human race ascended over the dignity of all heavenly creatures. It passed the angelic orders and was raised beyond the heights of archangels. In its ascension, our human race did not stop at any other height until this same nature was received at the seat of the eternal Father....
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Theophilus of Antioch

AD 184
Perhaps pouring into them a power of preservation, until the coming of the Spirit; and perhaps instructing them, that as often as we go away, we should commend to God by our blessing those who are placed under us. And Elias indeed was seen, as it were, tobe taken up into heaven, but the Savior, the forerunner of all, Himself ascended into heaven to appear in the Divine sight in His sacred body; and already is our nature honored in Christby a certain Angelic power. The Spirit had not yet come, and yet their conversation is spiritual. Before they were shut up; now they stand in the midst of the chief priests; distracted by no worldly object, but despising all things, they praise God continually; as it follows, Praising and blessing God. Whom imitating, may we ever dwell in a holy life, praising and blessing God; to Whom be glory and blessing and power, for ever and ever. Amen. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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