Solemnity of the Ascension

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Solemnity of the Ascension

You can find today’s readings here.

Ascension of Christ by Garofalo, 1520.

Happy Ascension Sunday! Last Thursday held the traditional celebration of the Ascension, but the Solemnity has been moved to Sunday in most areas. This is a very happy celebration! In the Glorious mysteries of the Rosary, the fruit of the mystery of the Ascension is hope, and indeed the Ascension is very hope-filled!

After Christ died on Good Friday, and came back to life on Easter Sunday, He shepherded his disciples for another forty days. Christ’s Resurrection fulfilled his disciples’ hope that they would see Him again after his death, providing much needed faith to continue to proclaim the kingdom after the Ascension (as an aside, the fruit of the Glorious mystery of the Resurrection in the Rosary is faith). As Christ majestically lifted Himself to Heaven in his resurrected body, his disciples were amazed and filled with hope for the time they would join their Heavenly King.

I love how today’s Solemnity passages continue to point to Pentecost and the Church on Earth. Christ’s work did not finish when exited in quiet grandeur to be with His Father in Heaven. Christ left behind instructed and obedient Apostles with the last directive to make disciples of all nations and to baptize them, and He also promised He would send the Holy Spirit to continue to guide them (Pentecost).

I love St. Paul’s first chapter of his letter to the Ephesians. He so plainly explains the Church, it’s like reading a Catechism. He explains we are called to unity, but there are two parts to that unity; unity of the spirit which is a bond of gentle and loving behavior with one another, and also a unity in faith and knowledge through the building up of the Church. He also reminds us of the universal unity, or one-ness, of the teachings of the Church, that there is, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph 1:4-6). We have such a loving God to have provided us this divinely designed guidance in the Church, and we should be so thankful to the servants who have held the positions of God given vocations, “as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers” (Eph 1:11) as they continue to teach us the ways of Christ through their humble obedience to the Church who lovingly taught them.

This is such a happy time in the Liturgical season!! As we delight in our Savior’s Ascension and in the hope of our own resurrections, we can also gear up for Pentecost Sunday! We will be celebrating the official beginning of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, so get ready to delight and give great thanks next Sunday! Oh, and find something red to wear if you’re in that kind of festive spirit! Lastly, invite our separated brethren to reflect on the great mystery of Pentecost. While many of them celebrate Reformation Sunday as a sort of beginning of their churches, Pentecost is theirs to celebrate too, as it was the Holy Spirit’s beginning of the Church on Earth, a gift for all of us and that we all are entitled to relish in, together!

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