Cinco de Mayo and The Ascension
What do Cinco de Mayo and The Ascension have in common? Well, this year they both fell on the same day, Thursday, May 5th. Celebrated on the fortieth day after Easter, the Feast of the Ascension is always a Thursday, ten days before Pentecost Sunday. Though it is a Holy Day of Obligation, attendance at this feast day Mass dwindled over the years. Because of this, bishops in the United States petitioned Rome to move the celebration from Thursday to Sunday. So while we were sipping our Cinco de Mayo Margaritas, we did not miss the celebration of this great feast.
The Ascension is an elemental belief of our faith, expressed in the Apostles Creed, “He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty.” What we are expressing here is that Christ’s bodily ascension foreshadows our own entrance into heaven. It is not just his soul, but his glorified body (due to the resurrection) that ascends to heaven. This is our fate too. In redeeming humankind, Christ not only offered salvation to our souls but began the restoration of the world itself to the glory that God intended. So our bodies, like his, will ascend to heaven. This implies a sacredness of our bodies and indeed of all that God created. This is good news!