The Ascension of Jesus


Forty days after his resurrection from the dead, Jesus ascended into Heaven to be seated at the right hand of God the Father.

Jesus’ ascension is a key element and the final part of the Paschal Mystery of Christ.

By ascending into Heaven as man, both body and soul, Jesus opens Heaven so that we to can enter Heaven after our own bodies are resurrected.

Jesus’ ascension into Heaven is affirmed in the creeds and meditated on as a Glorious Mystery of the Rosary.

The Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord is celebrated 40 days after Easter and is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics.

Catholics celebrate the day Jesus left the Earth:

He unlocked the gates of Heaven for our bodies and souls:

When they had gathered together they asked Him, “Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight.

Acts 1: 6-9

The Ascension completes the work of our redemption:

The Ascension takes place after a time of transition:

Jesus’ humanity ascending into Heaven is our future:

In fact the verb “to lift up” was originally used in the Old Testament and refers to royal enthronement. Thus Christ’s Ascension means in the first place the enthronement of the Crucified and Risen Son of Man, the manifestation of God’s kingship over the world. However, there is an even deeper meaning that is not immediately perceptible. In the passage from the Acts of the Apostles it is said first that Jesus was “lifted up” and then it says “taken up”. The event is not described as a journey to on high but rather as an action of the power of God who introduces Jesus into the space of closeness to the Divine. The presence of the cloud that “took him out of their sight”, recalls a very ancient image of Old Testament theology and integrates the account of the Ascension into the history of God with Israel, from the cloud of Sinai and above the tent of the Covenant in the desert, to the luminous cloud on the mountain of the Transfiguration.

– Pope Benedict XVI, Homily, The Solemnity of the Ascension of Our Lord, May 24, 2009

The mystery of Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven is underrated:

Jesus’ Ascension fulfills the Jewish expectation of Heaven:

“So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” Christ’s body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys. But during the forty days when He eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordinary humanity. Jesus’ final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by Heaven, where He is seated from that time forward at God’s right hand. Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show Himself to Paul “as to one untimely born”, in a last apparition that established him as an Apostle.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 659

His work is not done:

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