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Acension of Our Lord

This holy day is celebrated on the fortieth day after the Resurrection of Christ, on the Thursday of the sixth week of Pascha. The ascension of Christ into heaven is mentioned in the prophecies of the Scriptures. Christ Himself, upon His resurrection, said to Mary Magdalene: "I ascend unto My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God" (John 20:17).

This great event, with which Jesus' life on earth concludes, is briefly mentioned in the Gospels of Mark and Luke. But in the Acts of the apostles there is a fuller account. Gathering His disciples, Jesus commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to await what had been promised by the Father, that is the descent of the Holy Spirit. "John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence ... Ye shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:5, 8).

Saying this, He went with His disciples to Bethany and stopped on the Mount of Olives. "While they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, 'Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven'" (Acts 1:9-11).

Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem to where the Theotokos and the myrrh-bearing women were in prayer. In the Gospel of Mark it is written that upon ascending to heaven, the Lord sat upon the right side of God the Father, that is, the human soul and body of Jesus Christ took on the same glory as His Divinity.

Ascending to heaven, Jesus Christ promised to always be invisibly on earth among those who believe in Him.

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