by Sister Renee Delvaux
Did you know that the Ascension of the Lord is not one isolated event, and that Jesus did not float up into the sky on a white cloud? When we read in Acts that "a cloud took him from their sight" and in Mark's Gospel that the "Lord Jesus ... was taken up into heaven" it means that Jesus is totally and forever reunited with His Father. In Scripture a cloud is very often a symbol for God, so God the Father took His incarnate Son back to Himself.
The Ascension is a part of the Paschal mystery in which Jesus' death, Resurrection, Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit form one single movement. The Church highlights these events so we can celebrate each profound mystery throughout the 50 days, from Easter Sunday until Pentecost (which is next Sunday).
The beauty of Jesus' Ascension, His triumph and glorification is that it is a promise that with Jesus we will have everlasting life in God. Jesus promises that He has prepared a place for us and we will join Him. Moreover, He assures us with "I shall not leave you orphans" (Jn 14:3). He is with us now and we will join Him later. What total gift, what self-giving love! What reason we have for joy!
Alleluia! We rejoice in Jesus' Ascension! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thank you for this positive and enlightening reflection. We have reason for joy!
Is the Ascension a holy day of obligation? On my calendar is says it is, but last Sunday at church I did not hear the priest say it is, and there was no special Mass on that day!
This year, the Feast of the Ascension fell on Thursday, May 14, but in some situations the local Bishop can transfer a feast day to a Sunday. Here in the Green Bay Diocese we will celebrate the Ascension on Sunday, May 17. Perhaps there wasn’t an announcement at your parish because the parish will celebrate the Feast day this Sunday.
I like the thought of the feast as one event. Thank you, Sr. Renee.
Thank you for a wonderful reflection and insight into the Ascension!
Thanks, Renee. How comforting to know that as I go about my daily happenings, I can look forward with great JOY, to a place being prepared for me right now.