The Solemnity of The Ascension
of Our Lord Jesus Christ

THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST , also known as Ascension Thursday, or Ascension Day, commemorates the Christian belief of the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is one of the ecumenical feasts, universally celebrated in all churches, ranking with the feasts of Easter and Pentecost. Ascension Day is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter (following the accounts given in the Gospel and in the Acts of the Apostles), although some Ecclesiastical provinces have moved the observance to the following Sunday.
Forty days after the resurrection, Jesus and His disciples went to Mount Olivet, near Jerusalem. There, Jesus promised His followers that they would soon receive the Holy Spirit, and He instructed them to remain in Jerusalem until the Spirit had come. Then Jesus blessed them, and as He gave the blessing, He began to ascend into heaven. The account of Jesus' ascension is found in Luke 24:50-51 and Acts 1:9-11.
It is plain from Scripture that Jesus' ascension was a literal, bodily return to heaven. He rose from the ground gradually and visibly, observed by many intent onlookers. As the disciples strained to catch a last glimpse of Jesus, a cloud hid Him from their view, and two angels appeared and promised Christ's return "in just the same way that you have watched Him go" (Acts 1:11).
Thus, the Paschal Mystery -- Jesus' passion, death, Resurrection, Ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit – is a single, unbroken Reality which is to be understood by Faith. By His Ascension, Jesus, the risen Christ, True God and True Man, is One with the Father and the Holy Spirit in glory forever.
Jesus’ Ascension is both an ending and a beginning. The physical appearances of Jesus are at an end; his revelation of the “Good News” is complete; the promise of the Messiah is fulfilled. Now begins the work of the disciples to teach what they have learned and to share what they have witnessed.