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Ascension Day 2017

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Today is the Feast of the Ascension, also called Ascension Day. 
It always falls on the Thursday of the 6th week of the Easter season, 10 days before Pentecost Sunday. Like Easter it is a move-able feast which is one reason why it is so often forgotten and lacks the commercial reminders that alert people to the date of Easter Sunday. And there are no associations with chocolate for Ascension Day.
Ascension Day marks the last of the resurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples. So it could be seen as an ending. But as with most endings it also marks a beginning.
Ascension Day celebrates not the absence of Jesus but his presence, no longer confined to time, space or a particular locality of ancient Palestine. Jesus is present and potentially available by his Holy Spirit to all people everywhere.
My favourite Ascension account is the end of Luke's gospel: "Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. while he was blessing them, he withdrew…