The Ascension into Heaven


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 too 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:

Then He led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As He blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.

Luke 24: 50-53

The Ascension completes the work of our redemption:

Marking a new beginning:

The Ascension takes place after a time of transition:

Jesus’ humanity ascending into Heaven is our future:

We read in the Gospel that forty days after Easter, Jesus led the Apostles “out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, He blessed them. While He blessed them He parted from them and was carried up into Heaven”. The Ascension is the final moment of the “Passover” of Christ, which the Evangelist John appropriately describes as a passage “from this world to the Father”. Jesus wants to bring all humanity to the one heavenly Father. “I am going to prepare a place for you”, He said to the disciples during the Last Supper “…that where I am you may be also”. Today’s feast kindles in our hearts the desire for Heaven, our eternal homeland.

Pope John Paul II, Regina Caeli, 1 June 2003

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

Celebrating the Ascension on the Mount of Olives:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Acts of charity and mercy:

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