Traditionally the Ascension of Our Lord was held 40 days after Easter, falling on a Thursday. However in most dioceses in the United States, the observance of the Solemnity of the Ascension is moved to the following Sunday, superseding the 7th Sunday of Easter.
Mass Readings for the Ascension of the Lord Year C
- First Reading – Acts 1:1-11: “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 47: “God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.”
- Second Reading – Ephesians 1:17-23: “And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.”
- Alternate Second Reading – Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:19-23: “Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf.”
- Gospel – Luke 24:46-53: “As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.”
Themes for the Ascension of the Lord Year C
The readings for the The Ascension of the Lord Year C encourage us to be witnesses for Jesus Christ, just as the early Christians were. In the first reading the ascension of Jesus is recounted and the Apostles are told they will receive the Holy Spirit. In the second reading we hear that Jesus Christ rules heaven and earth. In the alternate second reading we learn that Jesus Christ died for all people. And in the gospel, after Jesus ascends to heaven, the disciples can be found in the temple praising God.
- Going out to the world
- Getting out of our comfort zones
Resources for the Ascension of the Lord Year C
This Superpowers lesson plan will help youth understand what it means to be clothed in power. Like the first disciples, we need the superpower of courage.
This prayer asks for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is in the form of a litany, which is a prayer where there is a prompt and then a response.
The Paschal Mystery is God’s plan for the salvation of mankind, as fulfilled in the passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has shown us that death does not have the final word.
This is a prayer based on Psalm 47, which is the responsorial psalm for this Sunday.. This psalm praises God who is above all and who rules all.
This reflection encourages youth to think about what it means to spread the Gospel to “the whole world”.
Homilies and Reflections for the Ascension of the Lord Year C
In this homily for the Ascension of the Lord Year C, Bishop Robert Barron comments that the feast of the Ascension is meant to awaken hope. In Jesus, risen from the dead and ascended to the right hand of the Father, our lowly human nature participates in the very life of God. In the light of the ascension, therefore, we are permitted to hope for a way of being, elevated and perfected beyond our imagining.
Scott Hahn reflects that the story did not end with the empty tomb, or with Jesus’ appearances to the Apostles over the course of forty days. Jesus’ saving work will have a liturgical consummation. He is the great high priest, and He has still to ascend to the heavenly Jerusalem, there to celebrate the feast in the true Holy of Holies.
Everything about the Gospels has the feel of eyewitness testimony—of people on the ground at the actual time and having real knowledge of the actual political situation, culture, custom, and geography. And without the Resurrection, it would seem that we have an effect (the rise of Christianity) with no adequate cause.
More Thoughts for the Ascension of the Lord Year C
At some point after the resurrection, Christ stopped appearing to the disciples. Now the power of Christ works through us. We must carry on the mission of proclaiming the Good News.
All of the gospels tell of the ascension of our Lord. Luke gives the most detailed account. It is similar to the ascension of Elijah. Jewish tradition also points to the ascension of Abraham, Moses, and Isaiah. In these cases, these holy men are summoned to the throne of God through the power of God.
There is also the account in the Book of Daniel.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw coming with the clouds of heaven. One like a son of man. When he reached the Ancient of Days and was presented before him, he received dominion, splendor, and kingship; all nations, peoples and tongues will serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, his kingship, one that shall not be destroyed.Daniel 7:13-14
The ascension of Jesus fulfills this prophecy. It is echoed in the words of St. Stephen, the first martyr:
He said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”Acts of the Apostles 7:56
There is also a parallel between the final words of Jesus and the words of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary.
The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.Luke 1:35 (The Annunciation)
You will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you.Acts 1:8 (The Ascension)
So the ascension is the final event of the incarnation. And through Christ, we all will take our place with God. The same power which worked on our Blessed Mother to bring the incarnation to the world now works on the disciples. They will also bring Jesus Christ to the world.
Reflection Questions for the Ascension of the Lord Year C
- How do I experience the risen Christ in my life?
- Do I feel empowered to carry on the mission? How?
- Is God summoning me to a higher state?
Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the Ascension of the Lord Year C
It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.