Ascension of the Lord

The ecclesiastical Provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha and Philadelphia have retained the celebration of the Ascension of the Lord on the proper Thursday; all other Provinces have transferred this Solemnity to the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

This solemnity celebrates the elevation of Christ into heaven by His own power in the presence of His disciples the fortieth day after His Resurrection.  This event is narrated in the Gospels of Mark and Luke, and in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.

Although the place of the Ascension is not distinctly stated, it would appear from the Acts that it was Mount Olivet, since after the Ascension the disciples are described as returning to Jerusalem from the mount that is called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem.

Tradition has consecrated this site as the Mount of Ascension, and Christian piety has memorialized the event by erecting over the site a basilica.

The Ascension of Our Lord, which occurred 40 days after Jesus Christ rose from the dead on Easter, is the final act of our redemption that Christ began on Good Friday.  On this day, the risen Christ, in the sight of His apostles, ascended bodily into Heaven

Christ’s bodily Ascension foreshadows our own entrance into Heaven not simply as souls, after our death, but as glorified bodies, after the resurrection of the dead at the Final Judgment.

In redeeming mankind, Christ not only offered salvation to our souls but began the restoration of the material world itself to the glory that God intended before Adam’s fall. (7:24)