The Ascension

Q. What is the theological teaching we should take from the Ascension?

A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin:  

The Catechism of the Catholic Church beautifully describes the 40 days after Easter, when Jesus, His glory hidden beneath his humanity, “eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom” (No. 659). The text continues, “Christ’s ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity into God’s heavenly domain, whence he will come again” (No. 665).

In the meantime, when we say the words of the Creed, we profess our faith in the Church. This belief is intimately linked to Jesus’ ascension. Indeed, the Ascension sets the Church in motion. Had Jesus not disappeared from our sight, we would have had no reason to leave his side. Who would have wanted to?

The ascension of the human Christ is the guarantee that we, baptized into his death, may look forward to a life of everlasting glory that reflects his own. The Church is the institutional community on earth that most perfectly resembles the invisible, heavenly community Jesus enjoys with the Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus spent his life inviting those whom he met to embrace his Word so they might enjoy life in his kingdom; this remains the task of his Church, to be carried out by us, its ministers.