Ascension Day Festival Mass
Ascension Day celebrates Jesus’ ascension to heaven forty days after the Resurrection on Easter Day.
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Luke gives his account of the events (Luke 24: 44- end):
Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
Jesus's prophecy in this passage foreshadows the later events of Pentecost. Between Ascension Day and Pentecost (the fiftieth day after the Resurrection) we experience a time of prayer and reflection (the Great Novena – the nine days between The Ascension and Pentecost).