The Ascension of Jesus is an essential event to our faith as Catholics, and it represents so much more than the physical departure of Jesus from Earth to Heaven.
For each of us, our relationship with Christ means something different and manifests itself in countless ways, endlessly evolving just as we do throughout our lives, but it is through the Ascension of Jesus that each Christian is tied to God the Father and blessed by Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice for humanity.
Why Do We Celebrate the Ascension of Jesus?
As Jesus rose from Earth to Heaven, he was exalted and took his place at the right hand to God the Father. This glorification of Christ is a core component of the Christian faith, one that emphasizes the new relationship between Jesus and God, as well as that between Christ and the followers of the Church—us.
With his eleven apostles present to bear witness to his departure to arrive at the throne of God, the Ascension of Jesus occurred forty days after his resurrection from the tomb—for this reason, we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension on the fortieth day of Easter, and always on a Thursday.
Each May, we revel in the joy derived from being in the grace of God with the Feast of the Ascension. This year, the Feast will take place on May 15, 2021, serving as a celebration of our divine salvation.
Spiritual Preparation for the Celebration of the Ascension of Jesus
Prayer and Reflection
One of the most effective ways to spiritually prepare yourself to celebrate the Feast of the Ascension is to further strengthen your faith through prayer and reflection. To pray and reflect successfully, take the time necessary to more thoroughly study your bible and incorporate your daily life into the practice of your faith, perhaps through a Bible study schedule.
Establish and Maintain Spiritual Calm
In addition to physical and mental pain, stress can negatively affect the health of our faith. Spiritually, you may feel less connected with your faith and relationship with God, preventing you from truly rejoicing the unconditional love that Christ holds for us during the Easter season. To better prepare yourself to celebrate the Ascension, establish and maintain spiritual calm through meditation or other activities that personally bring you calm, such as walking, reading, or writing.
Connect with Your Family
As with any feast, we celebrate best surrounded by the people we care about most. As you prepare yourself to celebrate the ascension of Christ into Heaven, spend time with your family as often and as safely as possible, inviting them to rejoice in God’s love for us as we bask in the love we receive from those physically close to us.