Ascension of Jesus 40 days after Easter

Published: May 22, 2017

En Español

The Ascension of the Lord celebrates Jesus' ascension into heaven and his coming into glory at the right hand of the Father. It occurred 40 days after his resurrection from the dead. This year, Ascension Thursday is May 25. However, in most Catholic provinces and dioceses in the United States, including the Diocese of Little Rock, this feast will be celebrated Sunday, May 28.

"The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by his ascension into heaven, and indeed begins it. Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal covenant, 'entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands ... but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.'

"There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for he 'always lives to make intercession' for 'those who draw near to God through him'. As 'high priest of the good things to come' he is the center and the principal actor of the liturgy that honors the Father in heaven." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 662)

It was Christ's ascension that made Pentecost possible. "It is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you," Jesus told his disciples. (John 16:7) But he promised: "I am with you always, until the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20) To learn more, listen to the 2017 Ascension homily of Bishop Robert Barron or watch the video below.