The Ascension is an important part of the Catholic faith as it affirms the divinity of Christ, as he returned to his Father. This is celebrated 40 days after Easter, this year, being the 18th of May.
40 days after Jesus’ resurrection, he ascended into heaven in the presence of his Disciples, on the Mount of Olives. This marked the end of his time of public ministry and began his time in the Kingdom of Heaven. After he ascended, the Disciples remained behind and continued to praise him. Through the death, resurrection, and finally the ascension of Jesus, God redeemed the world.
Prior to his Ascension, Jesus told what we know today as the Great Commission. This is recorded in Matthew 28:18-20, and states “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Images and art of the Ascension are often depicted with Jesus ascending surrounded by clouds, and sometimes accompanied by angels. This represents him going ‘home’ to his Father.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
The Ascension of Jesus reminds us that he is not limited to time and space. Instead, he is continually present with us, spiritually. It is a source of comfort for some Christians, knowing he has gone before them to prepare their place in heaven.
You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know… This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear. – Acts 2:22, 32-33.