10 May 2018

Christians in Jerusalem celebrate the Ascension of the Lord

On 9 and 10 May Catholics celebrate the Ascension of the Lord into heaven at the very place which marks the event.

Liturgies

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Forty days after his resurrection Jesus ascended into heaven. According to tradition this happened here at the summit of the Mount of Olives.

Currently this place belongs to Muslims but on this occasion its doors are open so that Catholics may celebrate the Ascension of the Lord.

These are two days of celebration and fraternal communion and spiritualIty.

JILL COLSON
Pilgrim, United States
“We are very happy to be here exactly on the day of the Ascension. It is hard to describe in words but this is where Jesus ascended into heaven from. It is incredible to be able to pray in this undescribable place!”

PAT COLSON
Pilgrim, United States
“It’s an opportunity to be here in the Holy Land. As a Catholic it is a dream come true to walk in the very footsteps of Jesus Christ!”

The Prayers of the Franciscans began on the vigil of this Solemnity. Among the events the most important moment was the Liturgy of the Hours presided over by the Vicar of the Custos, Fr Dobromir Jasztal.

Fr DOBROMIR JAZTAL, ofm
Vicar of the Custos of the Holy Land
“After this follows the time of the Spirit, the time of the Church, the time in which every faithful receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is the time when every good Christian, every baptised individual should ask him or herself what gift they have received from the Lord, what fruits have come from it and which are still to come. And they need to feel responsibility for the mission that Jesus has entrusted to the Apostles after His Ascension”.

After the vigil night the Vicar concluded the celebration in the chapel with a Solemn Mass marking the moment in which Jesus concluded his visible presence amongst humans.

During the homily Fr Dobromir said that Jesus seated at the side of the Father did not abandon the Apostles. He quoted some biblical passages in which Christ showed His presence and when He appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus.

The Spirit confirms, Fr Dobromir continued, that one day we too will be with the Lord and with God…on condition that we become His disciples and we live out His word.

The celebrant reminded all that in the house of the Father there are many houses, and he added that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for each of us. And when He returns He will take us with Him so that we can be there where He is”.

Fr DOBROMIR JAZTAL, ofm
Vicar of the Custos of the Holy Land
Everything that Jesus has said elevates us upwards. Here His disciples stood looking towards the sky, not so much at Jesus who was disappearing from view, but gazing at everything that Jesus had taught them. Therefore this celebration reminds us in a special way how as disciples we need to listen to his voice. We need to become his witnesses and look up in order to be elevated ourselves towards the house of the Father!“.