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Ascension of Jesus
Second Glorious Mystery of the Rosary

Ascension of Jesus
The Ascension - James Tissot - 1890


The second Glorious Mystery of the Rosary is the Ascension of Jesus. This event holds profound importance and significance in Christian theology:

Fulfillment of Prophecy

The Ascension fulfills biblical prophecies, including those found in Psalms and the words of Jesus Christ Himself. It completes the earthly ministry of Christ, aligning with His promise to return to the Father.

Exaltation and Glory

The Ascension marks Jesus’ exaltation to the right hand of God. It signifies His triumph over sin and death, showcasing His divine glory and reinforcing His identity as the Son of God. The ascended Christ now intercedes for believers in the heavenly realm.

Empowerment of the Church

Before ascending, Jesus instructs His disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit, promising them power to be witnesses. The Ascension, therefore, serves as a prelude to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, empowering the early Church to spread the message of salvation globally.

Eternal Intercession

By ascending into heaven, Jesus continues His role as the eternal High Priest, interceding on behalf of humanity. This ongoing intercession underscores His role as the mediator between God and humanity, offering comfort and hope to believers.

Anticipation of His Return

The Ascension is not a departure but an anticipation of Jesus’ return. The angels’ proclamation assures the disciples that, just as Jesus ascended, He will one day return in glory. This promises the ultimate fulfillment of God’s plan and the establishment of His kingdom.

In summary, the Ascension of Jesus holds paramount importance as it fulfills prophecy, exalts Christ to divine glory, empowers the Church, signifies eternal intercession, and anticipates His glorious return. It is a pivotal event that shapes Christian belief, affirming the ongoing presence and work of Christ in the lives of believers.

Scriptures of the Ascension of Jesus

Luke 24:36-51

Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them, and saith to them: Peace be to you; it is I, fear not. But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them: Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and feet.

But while they yet believed not, and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish, and a honeycomb. And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them.

And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. And he said to them: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. And I send the promise of my Father upon you: but stay you in the city till you be endued with power from on high.

And he led them out as far as Bethania: and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. And it came to pass, whilst he blessed them, he departed from them, and was carried up to heaven.

Scripture Commentary

Luke 24:36-51 recounts a pivotal moment in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection.

Luke 24:36-43 Jesus Appears to the Disciples

In this section, the disciples are gathered together, and Jesus appeared in their midst. Despite the joyous news of Jesus’ resurrection from some of the disciples and the women, the others are troubled and uncertain. Jesus, in an effort to assure them of His physical resurrection, shows them His hands and feet. He invites them to touch Him and even eats a piece of broiled fish in their presence to demonstrate that He is not a mere spirit but resurrected in a tangible, bodily form.

Luke 24:44-49: Explanation of the Scriptures and Commission

Jesus then explains to the disciples that everything written about Him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled. He opens their minds to understand the Scriptures, emphasizing that His death and resurrection were in accordance with divine prophecy. He commissions them to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Luke 24:50-51: Jesus' Ascension

The passage concludes with the scene of Jesus leading His disciples out to Bethany. While blessing them, Jesus ascends into heaven, leaving the disciples in awe and worship. This moment marks the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry and sets the stage for the disciples to carry out their commission in spreading the message of salvation.

This account in Luke captures the transition from the resurrection appearances to the disciples’ understanding of the Scriptures and their commission to proclaim the gospel globally. It underscores the tangible reality of Jesus’ resurrection and the significance of His ascension in empowering His followers for the mission ahead.

Feast Day of the Ascension

The Feast of the Ascension, also known as Ascension Day, is celebrated in the Christian liturgical calendar forty days after Easter. It commemorates the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven, as described in the Gospels of Luke (Luke 24:50-53) and Acts (Acts 1:9-11).

Ascension Day is observed on a Thursday, which is forty days after Easter Sunday. However, in some Christian traditions, the feast may be transferred to the following Sunday. The Ascension marks the conclusion of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the beginning of the period leading up to Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples. The feast is a significant event in Christian theology, highlighting the exaltation of Jesus and his ongoing presence with believers through the Holy Spirit.

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Last Publish:  February 21, 2024