The Ascension of the Lord Year A (2023)

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 A

  • First Reading: Acts 1:1-11 – “When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.”
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 – “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.”
  • Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20 – “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Themes for the Ascension of the Lord Year A

The feast of the Ascension of the Lord Year A commemorates the day that Jesus Christ ascended into heaven. He also gave the Great Commission, that all of the world should be saved. 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. And in the gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to preach the Good News to the whole world.

  • Evangelism
  • Going out to the world
  • Getting out of our comfort zones
  • Holy Spirit

See the Homilies and Reflections section and the More Thoughts section for further expansion on these readings and some reflection questions for the Ascension of the Lord Year A.

Resources for the Ascension of the Lord Year A

Superpowers (Courage)

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.

Litany of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

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.

What Is the Paschal Mystery?

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.

A Prayer to God Who Is Above All

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.

Who Lives in Your World? – Discussion and Reflection Questions

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 A

At the Right Hand of the Father

From Bishop Robert Barron. This Sunday we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord, perhaps one of the most misunderstood elements within the Christian narrative. The Ascension does not mean Jesus goes “up, up, and away” as if his presence leaves earth, but rather that he assumes the throne of heaven so as to direct matters here on earth.

The Good News

From Scott Hahn. Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Ephesians, speaks in terms of glory that leads to greater glories still, as Ascension leads to Pentecost. This is the “good news” the Apostles are commissioned to spread—to the whole world, to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem—at the Ascension. It’s the good news we must spread today.

The Ascension of the Lord

Also from Bishop Barron. We come today to the great Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, which sheds so much light on who we are as Christians and what we are supposed to be about as a Church. I want to focus on the Ascension from two perspectives: the “political” and the liturgical. Both are very important to understand what it means to speak of the Ascension of Jesus.

More Thoughts for the Ascension of the Lord Year A

Disciple Maker

Today’s gospel gives us the last words of Jesus from the gospel of Matthew. He must have known this would be traumatic for his followers. They had just experienced the joy of the resurrection and having him back. Now he will not walk the earth, but he promises to be with us always.

And his presence is comforting, because Jesus has given us a job. Make disciples. This seems like a daunting task, but he has also trained us, through his words and example. To take on the job title “Disciple Maker” is more than just quoting Scripture. We must love, and love involves sacrifice. This is what Jesus showed us.

Reflection Questions for the Ascension of the Lord Year A

  • Do I really believe that Jesus is with me always?
  • What are some ways I make disciples?
  • Who in my life needs to hear the Good News today?

Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the Ascension of the Lord Year A

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.

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