The Significance of the Ascension

05-16-2021Weekly Reflection© J. S. Paluch Company

poral experience of the early community, made it seem that Jesus’ resurrection and his ascension were inseparable aspects of a single mystery. Only in the later writings of Luke and John has further theological reflection helped the Christian community to distinguish different dimensions of the mystery. Liturgical tradition has followed the forty-day chronology formulated by Luke. We would miss the point, however, if we were to demand a precise historical chronology of events such as the Resurrection-Ascension that are primarily spiritual in nature and that clearly surpass the bounds of time and space as we know them.

What is important for us to grasp is the significance of the Ascension. For Luke, it is the decisive turning point that marks the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the beginning of the disciples’ Spiritled ministry and thus the ministry of the whole church down to our own day.