Our Lord Jesus Christ, then, Ascending into Heaven on the fortieth day, did for this reason Commend...

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 Our Lord Jesus Christ, then, Ascending into Heaven on the fortieth day, did for this reason Commend...

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Our Lord Jesus Christ, then, Ascending into Heaven on the fortieth day, did for this reason Commend to us His Body where it would continue to lie, because He Saw that many would honour Him for that He Is Ascended into Heaven: and saw that their honouring Him is useless if they trample upon His Members here on Earth. And lest any one should err, and, while he adored the Head in Heaven should trample upon the feet on Earth, He told us where would be His Members. For being about to Ascend, He Spake His Last Words on Earth: after those same words He Spake no more on Earth. The Head about to Ascend into Heaven Commended to us His Members on Earth and Departed. Thenceforth thou findest not Christ speaking on Earth; thou findest Him Speaking, but from Heaven. And even from Heaven, why? Because His Members on Earth were trodden upon. For to the persecutor Saul He Said from On High, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" (Acts IX:4) I Am Ascended into Heaven, but still I lie on Earth: here I sit at the Right Hand of The Father, but there I yet hunger, thirst, and am a stranger. In what manner then did He Commend to us His Body, when about to ascend into Heaven? When the disciples asked Him, saying, "Lord, wilt Thou at this time present Thyself, and when shall be the Kingdom of Israel?" (Acts I:6-8) He made answer, now at the point to depart, "It is not for you to know the time which The Father hath put in His own power: but ye shall receive Strength of The Holy Ghost coming upon you, and ye shall be witnesses to me."

See where His Body is spread abroad, see where He will not be trodden upon: "Ye shall be witnesses to me, unto Jerusalem, and unto Judaea, and even unto all the Earth." Lo, where I lie that Am Ascending! For I Ascend, because I Am The Head: my Body lies yet beneath. Where lies? Throughout the whole Earth. Beware thou strike not, beware thou hurt not, beware thou trample not: these be the Last Words of Christ about to go into Heaven. Look at a sick man languishing on his bed, lying in his house, and worn out with sickness, at death's door, his soul as it were even now between his teeth: who, anxious, it may be, about something that is dear to him, which he greatly loves, and it comes into his mind, calls his heirs, and says to them, I pray you, do this. He, as it were, detains his soul by a violent effort, that it may not depart ere those words be made sure. When he has dictated those last words, he breathes out his soul, he is borne a corpse to the sepulchre. His heirs, how do they remember the last words of the dying man? How, if one should stand up and say to them, Do it not: what would they say? "What, shall I not do that which my father, in the act of breathing out his soul, commanded me with his last breath, the last word of his that sounded in my ears when my father was departing this life? Whatever other words of his I may not regard, his last have a stronger hold upon me: since which I never saw him more, never more heard speech of his."

Brethren, think with Christian hearts; if to the heirs of a man, his words spoken when about to go to the tomb are so sweet, so grateful, so weighty, what must we account of the Last Words of Christ, Spoken not when about to go back to the tomb, but to Ascend into Heaven! As for the man who lived and is dead, his soul is hurried off to other places, his body is laid in the earth, and whether these words of his be done or not, makes no difference to him: he has now something else to do, or something else to suffer: either in Abraham's Bosom he rejoices, or in Eternal Fire he longs for a drop of water, while his corpse lies there senseless in the sepulchre; and yet the last words of the dying man are kept. What have those to look for, who keep not the Last Words of Him that Sitteth in Heaven, Who Seeth from On High whether they be despised or not despised? The Words of Him, Who Said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?", Who Keeps Account, unto the Judgment, of all that He Seeth His Members suffer.

- St. Augustine, Homily X On The First Epistle Of John, 9.

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