I'm Catholic
Theology for the common man

Ascension of the Lord

Sunday, May 24, 2020

The Evangelist Luke begins the Acts of the Apostles with a revelation about the Ascension of Jesus in the presence of the apostles, wanting at some point to emphasize that with the Ascension, the history of the primitive Church begins. Meaning that the evangelization commenced and after it the entire world, made possible by the apostles and their successors. This was possible thanks to the power of the Holy Spirit who very soon would be sent and an especially the mandate the apostles received through Jesus who appeared on the Ascension day. The fact of His Ascension probably surprised the apostles who were accustomed to a new divine presence of Jesus, who appeared for 40 days after his resurrection, as St. Luke has stated. Nevertheless a departure of Jesus was unavoidable and yet they still didn’t understand it. The logic of the salutary plan of God ends the stage of the earthly intervention of the Son of God with his death on the cross. After the resurrection Jesus begins his new stage coming back from where he came from, meaning from heaven. It is a passing stage which was supposed to prepare the disciples to his different sacramental presence in the Holy Spirit. A previous mandate Jesus gave to them, was to go to Galilee where his ascension was to take place, is a crucial moment in the history of the Church. Jesus, after 40 days of instructions to the apostles and making them accustom to their new role of evangelization, ascends to heaven before their eyes, that is, He is passing forever to his normal divine form of existence now enriched with His worshiped body. In theology we say that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, as a Son of God, being equal with the Father and united with him in a mutual close bond of love, that is, in the Holy Spirit. The disciples, after Jesus left them, shouldn’t feel abandoned because from now on Jesus is always present in heaven being accessible by his Holy Spirit through our prayers, liturgy and mutual serviceable love. This is what the Church, that is, each of us live in every day.