FOR FORTY DAYS FOLLOWING HIS RESURRECTION, Jesus appeared to the disciples frequently, strengthening and instructing them, and telling them of His kingdom. On the fortieth day they had gathered again in Jerusalem to await the feast of Pentecost, probably in the Cenac1e, where they had celebrated the Passover the night before He died.
Jesus appeared to them there and gave them His last instructions. And He said to them:
“These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled that are written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. Thus it is written; and thus the Christ should suffer, and should rise again from the dead on the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. And you yourselves are witnesses of these things. And I send forth upon you the promise of My Father. But wait here in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high, of which you have heard by My mouth; for John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.”
They said to Him, “Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus replied:
“It is not for you to know the times or dates which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses for Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the very ends of the earth.”
Then He led them out towards Bethany. When they had reached Mount Olivet, He blessed them. And as He imparted His blessing He arose from the earth and vanished into a cloud. While the disciples stared up in astonishment, two white-clad angels appeared and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up to heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to heaven.”
And the disciples returned joyfully to Jerusalem.
Meditation: The Ascension is not only Christ’s leaving earth; it is His entering heaven to take possession of the complete glory He merited on the cross. He entered heaven in triumph, for His work had been completed. Heaven was now His. Since we have become His brothers, co-heirs with Him, Heaven is ours, too. We can rejoice, therefore, for He is holding our share of the inheritance for us. A place is waiting for us in our heavenly home.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 303-304. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, MA following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM. NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H. Winkler.