During the Ascension of Jesus, Jesus ascended into heaven after completing His work here on Earth. This miraculous event occurred forty days after His resurrection and is normally a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. We celebrate Ascension on the sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday. This year, the Ascension of Jesus falls on May 21, 2020.
Since an individual bishop can transfer a holy day to a Sunday, many US dioceses celebrate the Ascension of Jesus on the Seventh Sunday of Easter. However, dioceses such as Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia have all opted to keep the Ascension of Jesus as a Holy Day of Obligation, celebrated on the sixth Thursday after Easter.
To ensure that you never miss a Holy Day of Obligation, get our calendar of 2020 Holy Days.
What is the Ascension of Jesus?
Surrounded by His disciples, Jesus is raised up above the clouds on Earth and into Heaven to be with God, the Father (Act 1:9). This miracle, known as the Ascension of Jesus, takes place on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem forty days after Jesus rises from the dead.
He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.The Nicene Creed
Before He ascends into Heaven, Jesus tells the apostles to remain in Jerusalem for the arrival of the Holy Spirit, now known as Pentecost. Pentecost, which occurs ten days after the Ascension and fifty days after the resurrection, is considered to be the birth of the Catholic Church. Ignited by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ disciples embraced and proclaimed their Catholic faith.
Finding Hope in the Ascension
Jesus gave His life for us. He lived on Earth among us, knows us, loves us. What a comfort and abundance of hope that offers us! He sits at the right hand of the Lord as a symbol of God’s love for us.
As John 14:6 tells us, “Jesus is the way.” Since Jesus is the way, his life is an example for our own. The Ascension is another example. Jesus shows us through His Ascension that we may hope to also join the Father in Heaven.
It is because of the Ascension of Jesus that we find hope in the Lord and can live a joyful life.
Dispelling fear with hope in God
In a letter to a friend, our founder, Venerable Bruno Lanteri wrote:
Lest this fear, so just in itself, lead to discouragement and dejection of heart, we must inseparably accompany it with the firmest hope in God.Venerable Bruno Lanteri
Hope and trust in God and His plan for you fills your life with joy and purpose. Because He knows and loves you, speaking to God and strengthening your relationship with prayer can help you through the hard times and celebrate the joyful times.
Celebrating the Ascension of Jesus in 2020
Our ministry at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine will be celebrating a special Mass in honor of the Ascension of Jesus on Thursday, May 21st at 8:00 a.m. ET. Join our celebration by attending Mass online, on Facebook, or on YouTube. Since it is a Holy Day, there will be an additional reading on top of the typical two readings at daily Masses.
Do you find hope in the knowledge that Jesus went to the Father so that the descent of the Holy Spirit could happen at Pentecost? How will you celebrate the Ascension of Jesus this year? We invite you to share with us in the comments below.