Feast of the Ascension

Faith & Mission

Thursday the 18th May signifies Ascension Day (also known as Ascension Thursday), which the Catholic Church celebrates as a Holy Day of Obligation. The Ascension of the Lord is an ecumenical feast event in the Liturgical Calendar, traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter, Catholics, along with other Christian denominations, have moved the observance to the following Sunday, sometimes called Ascension Sunday, and is when Christians remember the event where Jesus arose into heaven, at the end of his time on earth.

It is said that by His death and Resurrection, Jesus opened the gates of heaven for all humanity. His Ascension demonstrates this to us. It is His proof that those of us who believe in Him in faith and follow Him will also be raised on the last day, and enter into heaven.

As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Christ's Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus' humanity into God's heavenly domain, whence he will come again. Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, precedes us into the Father's glorious kingdom so that we, the members of his Body, may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever.

The Ascension is about what comes next. It’s about our dignity. It teaches us that self-importance is nothing. It is union with God that makes us great and makes us happy.

Let us Pray

Dear Lord Jesus Christ,
You were from Mary biologically but from the Father theologically. Right before your Ascension into heaven you told your apostles to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth upon receiving the Holy Spirit.
May we be similarly inspired to spread your Gospel message in word and deed, according to your will for us. And may we do so prudently and joyfully, with your help, your guidance, and your grace! On this Feast of the Ascension, You return to the Father’s house.
Lord Jesus, Help all who believe in You seek what is above, Heaven, where you are seated at the right hand of God the Father! And who belong to You in the Church to one day join You in that heavenly home forever and ever.

Michael Chesser
Director, Catholic Mission & Mercy Ethos