The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
At first glance, the Ascension would seem to be a sad day. Christ in his human body is leaving the world for the last time. But this is a joyful feast; it is the fulfillment of Christ’s salvific mission. The Ascension is the final leg of the Paschal Mystery: Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension into heaven (as mentioned in the Eucharist Prayer of the Mass). It is not until Jesus ascends and returns to His Father that His act of Redemption is completed. Our place in heaven is prepared at this feast—we will now share in Christ’s glory. His ascension is often cited as the final sign of his divinity, or his godly power, an affirmation of the Christian faith.
The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated 40 days after Holy Easter day. This usually falls on a Thursday, however, in the United States we observe this Holy Day of Obligation on the following Sunday (May 16, 2021).