I am a new Catholic. Can you please explain Ascension Thursday? I thought Jesus ascended to heaven on Easter.
Although the Gospels often give the impression that Jesus ascended into heaven on Easter evening because, for example, they tend to compress the post-Resurrection events into a single day (e.g., Mark 16:9-19), the Book of Acts (written by Luke) makes clear that Jesus appeared to the disciples for a period of forty days before his Ascension into heaven (Acts 1:3). Ascension Thursday celebrates Christ’s ascension into heaven after that forty-day period, although in the U.S. the celebration is often transferred to the nearest Sunday.