Two sermons for the Feast of the Ascension, dated to the years 444 and 445, deal predominantly with faith. As the Gospels relate, the apostles doubted the Resurrection. According to Leo, it is from their wavering that subsequent believers receive assurance ( Serm. 73.1). Those forty days after the Resurrection were given for further proofs of that event ( Serm. 73.2). When the Lord ascended, human nature ascended with him ( Serm. 73.4).
AFTER THE blessed and glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the divine power, "in three days, raised" the true "temple" of God which Jewish wickedness had "destroyed,"1. on this day, dearly beloved, the number of the forty holy days is completed.2. While the Lord draws out the time of his bodily presence, our faith in his Resurrection is being strengthened by the necessary signs. All this has been planned by the sacred dispensation and made useful for our instruction.
(2) The Death of Christ had greatly disturbed the hearts of the disciples. A certain numbness of distrust had stolen upon their minds, weighed down with sorrow, at the suffering on the cross, at his last breath, at the burial of his lifeless body. When the holy women, as the Gospel story has told us, proclaimed that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, the sepulcher was empty of the body, and that angels were witnesses of the living Lord,3. their "words seemed" to the apostles and other disciples as pure "nonsense."4.____________________