Whether your diocese celebrates the Ascension of Christ on Thursday or Sunday, the time is upon us.
Recently, Pope Francis gave an explanation of the Ascension, what it means, and how it affects our lives.
Here are 7 things he wants you to know.
1) Your Holiness, what is a good starting point for understanding the Ascension?
[Pope Francis:] Let us start from the moment when Jesus decided to make his last pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
St Luke notes: “When the days drew near for him to be received up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51).
While he was “going up” to the Holy City, where his own “exodus” from this life was to occur, Jesus already saw the destination, heaven, but he knew well that the way which would lead him to the glory of the Father passed through the Cross, through obedience to the divine design of love for mankind.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that: “The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by his Ascension into heaven” (n. 662).
2) What can we learn from this?
We too should be clear in our Christian life that entering the glory of God demands daily fidelity to his will, even when it demands sacrifice and sometimes requires us to change our plans.
The Ascension of Jesus actually happened on the Mount of Olives, close to the place where he had withdrawn to pray before the Passion in order to remain in deep union with the Father: Once again we see that prayer gives us the grace to be faithful to God’s plan.