Forever with us

Ascension of the Lord

Forty days, after rising from the dead, Jesus returns to the Father. Again, we meet this number, forty. It was mentioned at the beginning of Lent, when Jesus goes to the desert and stays there for forty days, praying. Moses spent forty days on the mountain. The People of Israel spent forty years in the desert and before that Moses, spent forty years living in Egypt. We encounter the number forty, on various occasions in Scripture. It is used to show a transition from one time to another. When mentioned it also refers to a significant or extraordinary happening. 

During these forty days, Jesus continues to meet the apostles. He continued to prepare them for the work which they were to do. When Jesus ascended into heaven, a new ministry for the disciples began. They were to continue in Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus knew that what he was asking of the disciples, was not easy. Therefore, he promised them the strength of the Holy Spirit. Similarly, he does not leave us on our own, either. We are all called to bring Jesus to others. As parents, it is our responsibility to bring Jesus to our children. As in the case of the disciples, the Holy Spirit gives us the strength and wisdom to carry out this duty. Jesus did not ascend to heaven and left us like orphans. He wanted the disciples, and us, to help others repent. He wants us to be his witnesses. It is not an easy mission; we cannot do anything on our own. This is why we need the strength of the Holy Spirit, so that we may overcome our shortcomings, our fears and distractions. When we accept and understand that Jesus is with us and that the Holy Spirit gives us what we need to fulfil our calling, then, like the disciples, ‘with great joy, we can continually praise God.’

A reading from the Gospel of Luke (Lk 24, 46-53) 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” 

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. 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.

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. Jesus blesses the disciples. Do you regularly bless your children? You do not need elaborate words, simply say something like, ‘I bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. You can also trace the sign of the cross on the child’s forehead. If you have holy water, you may use it. Bless them before they sleep, before going to school. Age or time should not hinder you from blessing them. 
  4. Jesus did not leave us on our own. He sent the Holy Spirit. We received the Holy Spirit in Baptism, and in a special way in Confirmation. Coming Sunday, we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. During this week, make prayers to the Holy Spirit, part of your daily routine, so that then, you continue to pray to the Holy Spirit even in the days which follow. To help you, go to for prayers to the Holy Spirit.
  5. Together with your family find the right time to read this Gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare:
    i. The Bible reading from St  Luke (24, 46-53)
    ii. A white candle
    iii. Cover the table with a white cloth
    iv. A computer/laptop with the readings and clips
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested).
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 😊 

Time has come for Jesus to return to God the Father. Let us see what Jesus told his friends before going up to heaven.

  • Although we cannot see Jesus, he is with us
  • Bubble bottles, or else mix dishwashing liquid with some water and use pasta shapes like macaroni to blow the bubbles

Where did Jesus go? (Jesus went to heaven)

Near whom do you think he went? (Jesus went near his daddy – God the Father)

Do you think his friends, would miss Jesus?

Jesus could not remain with his friends. He had to return to heaven. However, before he went, he spoke for the last time with his disciples and he told them what he wished they would do. He wanted them to continue what he had started: teach the people, love them and help them. Jesus wanted the disciples to help the people become his friends. Do you think, this was an easy thing for Jesus’ friends?

Jesus knew that without his help, his disciple friends, would not manage to live as he was asking them to do. Therefore, he told them that he was not going to leave them alone. He told them, that although they would not see him, he would be with them. He promised them that he would send the Holy Spirit to give them strength and courage.

When Jesus told the disciples what was to happen, how do you think they felt?

They were happy. They were happy because they knew that Jesus would be with them, even if they could not see him and speak with him, as they used to do.

We cannot see Jesus, either. However, just like his friends did, we too believe that he is always with us.

Before ascending into heaven, Jesus gave his friends a job to do. He wished that they would do what he asked, because they loved him. He gives us a job to do too! The first thing he asks of us, is to get to know him and become his friends. He wants us to talk with him, as we do with our friends. When we talk with Jesus, we are praying. There are different ways to pray. Today we will use a different method. You have the bubble bottles. We said that Jesus went up to heaven. So, we are going to send our prayers, up to him. Start blowing the bubbles, look up at the bubbles and say a prayer. You may say something like: ‘thank you Jesus for this great day,’ ‘thank you Jesus, we are enjoying talking to you’. You may pray for someone, ‘Jesus, please take care of the children who live in countries where there is a war going on,’ ‘Jesus heal the sick children.’ Everyone can have a turn at blowing the bubbles and talking with Jesus.

Sign of the cross

Dear Jesus, we know that you have risen from the dead, and you are now in heaven. We cannot see you, but we believe that you are near us, and you are taking care of us. Today we wish to pray for those who teach us about you, our parents, our grandparents, our teachers, catechists, and priests. We want to become your best friends. Amen.

Listen to this song, and make it part of your prayer, Jesus I love you.

Today’s Gospel is about the last meeting, Jesus had with the disciples. He leaves them, to go near God the Father. Nevertheless, he promises that he would send them help. Let us listen, what help they were to receive and how the disciples felt about Jesus leaving them.

  • Although we cannot see Jesus, he is with us, taking care of us
  • Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit, so that we would have the strength and courage to be his disciples
  • Blue cardboard paper, the colour of the sky
  • Copies of the clouds – today’s activity
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Time has come for Jesus to return to God the Father. Many people had got to know him, he had taught many, however Jesus did not want what he started to end. He wanted the apostles to teach the people about him and show them the way, he wished them to live. Imagine, had the apostles not accepted, we would not know anything about Jesus today! Yet, this is not what they did. For all these years, there have always been people who believed in Jesus, people who followed him and did what he asked of them, including teaching others. 

Who taught you about Jesus?

These are people, who like the disciples, obeyed Jesus, and continued the work that he had started. They were not alone; they had the help of the Holy Spirit. Before ascending to heaven, Jesus promised that he would send the Holy Spirit on the disciples, to help them, to give them the courage and strength to continue the work that he had started. 

Do you know that Jesus speaks with you too?  Jesus is asking you, to continue the work that he has started. What can you do to continue what Jesus did?

To do all these things that you have mentioned, as the disciples did, you too need the help of the Holy Spirit. We received the Holy Spirit in Baptism and we receive him again, in Confirmation. Through these sacraments, the Holy Spirit gives us the strength and courage to continue in Jesus’ footsteps. It is not always easy, to follow Jesus. It is these sacraments which give us the gifts we need to be his disciples.

Although we cannot see Jesus, he is always with us. When we show love, we will be showing Jesus to others, we show them that Jesus is with us. When we receive love, we see that Jesus is with others too.

Do you remember what the disciples did, after Jesus ascended to heaven?

They were happy because although they could no longer see Jesus, they believed that he would be with them. They went to the temple to praise God. How can we praise God? We praise him, when we mention his qualities and we thank him. For example, ‘I praise you God, because you created all that is beautiful’, ‘I praise you God, because you are love’, I praise you God, because to you, I am special’, ‘I praise you God, because you will always love me.’

Today’s activity will help us praise God. We heard that Jesus ascended into heaven, and he went near God the Father. The blue cardboard paper and the clouds will remind you of the sky. Everyone (including the adults) will take at least two cloud shapes and write on them a prayer of praise. Fix the clouds on the cardboard paper. Put it somewhere where all will see it, so that each time you pass from in front of it, you read a prayer of praise.Whilst fixing the clouds onto the cardboard paper, listen to, We praise you.

Sign of the cross.

Everyone may read the prayers he/she wrote.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.