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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Ascension of the Lord

Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)

Ascension of the Lord

The Feast of the Ascension commemorates Jesus' ascension into heaven 40 days after his resurrection. Thus Ascension Day falls 40 days after Easter, on the 6th Thursday of Easter. In some areas the solemnity is celebrated on the Sunday after the traditional date.

This feast is mentioned in the writings of St. John Chrystostom, and St. Gregory of Nyssa both from the 4th century, though Saint Augustine states that this feast is of apostolic origin. We acknowledge belief in the Ascension in the Nicene Creed recited at Mass, and in the Apostles’ Creed, when we say “he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.”

The Ascension is the final component of the Paschal Mystery which consists of Jesus’ Passion, Crucifixion, Death, Burial, Descent Among the Dead, and Resurrection. Along with the resurrection, the ascension is proof to Jesus’ claim of being the Messiah, this feast not only celebrates Jesus’ ultimate glory returning to His Father in Heaven, but we are celebrating our final goal and destiny as well.

As “Christ ascends into heaven with the humanity he has assumed and which he has resurrected from the dead: that humanity is ours, transfigured, divinized, made eternal. Therefore the ascension reveals the “most high calling” (Gaudium et Spes, n.22) of every human person called to eternal life in the kingdom of God, kingdom of love, light and peace.” (Pope Benedict XVI Regina Caeli Feast of the Ascension May 21, 2006)

 "As followers of Jesus we have a high calling, really high, eternal life on high with God so let's keep our eyes fixed on our goal." Fr. Kubicki, S. J. Apostleship of Prayer

What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

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