May 13/16, 2021: Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (B)

Introduction

The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord commemorates the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven. It is traditionally celebrated on a Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter (following the accounts given in Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:2); however, in most of the United States the feast is commuted to the following Sunday. Regardless of when it is celebrated, it is a holy day of obligation.

The observance of this feast is of great antiquity. Eusebius seems to hint at the celebration of it in the 4th century. At the beginning of the 5th century, Saint Augustine wrote that the feast of the ascension is of apostolic origin, speaking of it in a way that shows it was the universal observance of the Church long before his time.

In the liturgy, we celebrate the completion of the work of our salvation, the pledge of our glorification with Christ, and his entry into heaven with our human nature glorified. Continue reading “May 13/16, 2021: Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (B)”