Feast of Ascension of Jesus

Posté par diaconos le 12 mai 2021

Feast of the Ascension

Jesus was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God

# Ascension is a Christian feast celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter2. It marks the last meeting of Jesus with his disciples after his resurrection and his ascension into heaven. It expresses a new way of Christ’s presence, which is no longer visible in the earthly world, but remains present in the sacraments. It also announces the coming of the Holy Spirit ten days later and the formation of the Church on the feast of Pentecost. Finally, it prefigures eternal life for Christians.

The Ascension is an essential element of the Christian faith: it is explicitly mentioned in both the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed and is therefore shared by Catholics, Orthodox (the Ascension of the Lord is one of the Twelve Great Feasts), Protestants and the faithful of the Anti-Catholic churches. Ascension Thursday is a public holiday in several countries. For the Orthodox, it is 28 May and 10 June respectively. In Christian theology, Ascension Day marks the end of Jesus’ physical presence on earth after his death and resurrection. It symbolises a new mode of Christ’s presence that is entirely interior, universal and timeless. He is present in the Eucharist.

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From the Gospel according to Mark

16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These are the signs that will accompany those who become believers: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes, and if they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and the sick will be well. « 

19 When the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and seated at the right hand of God. 20 As for them, they went out and proclaimed the gospel everywhere. The Lord worked with them and confirmed the word by the signs that accompanied it.  (Mk 16:15-20)


Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved

Faith, the condition of salvation; unbelief, the cause of condemnation, is the great principle of the whole Gospel in its application to man: « He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God shall remain upon him.   » If Mark added baptism to faith, it is because this word replaces the command to baptize that Matthew reported (Matthew 28, 19).

This symbol will contribute to salvation only to the extent that it is administered to those who believe. Faith, the condition of salvation; unbelief, the cause of condemnation, such is the great principle of the whole Gospel in its application to man : « He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God shall remain upon him.  « (John 3, 36)

If Mark added baptism to faith, it is because this word replaced the command to baptize that Matthew reported (Mt 28, 9). This symbol, however, will only contribute to salvation to the extent that it is administered to those who believe.  Many of these prodigies seemed alien to the sobriety that characterises the Gospels. Nothing demonstrates this better than the need of some exegetes to explain in a spiritual sense these gifts that they could not understand literally.

Casting out demons was a power actually exercised at times by the apostles; Jesus had positively conferred it on them. To speak in new tongues is to speak in tongues that are not learned naturally. It is therefore not the gift of speaking in tongues in a state of ecstasy. Grasping snakes was a repetition of the promise of Jesus, which happened for Paul in Malta; Jesus gave his people the power to defy all dangers.

The gift of healing the sick was often exercised by the apostles : « And it came to pass that the father of Publius was in bed, sick with fever and dysentery. Paul went to him and prayed, laid his hands on him, and healed him.  « (Acts 28, 8)

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ Christianity : click here to read the paper → Ascension | Description, Significance, Feast, & Art

◊ Theresa Simon and Christina Maksisi  : click here to read the paper → The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord | Living …

  Bishop Barron on Why the Ascension of Jesus Matters

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