May 30, 2019
The Ascension of the Lord
For Parents to Teach to Their Children
We Learn Through Art and Conversation
The painting above is about the Ascension of the Lord into heaven. There is symbolism in this painting, as there was in most paintings of the time period. It was painted by an Italian painter, Bernardino Gandino, who lived during the Renaissance “… a unified historical period (which) ended with the fall of Rome in 1527.” Source: Britannica.com
Have a family conversation about this, or another famous Italian “Ascension” painting from the same period, and look at the details of the painting. Here are some questions and ideas about the symbols that can guide you and your children:
- Who is the central person in this painting? (Jesus Christ)
- Why is His right arm raised? (He is “extending His blessing” over all below.)
- Who are attending to him? (Cherubim and Seraphim)
- What indicates that Jesus is Holy and Divine? (The rays of light around His head)
- What is Jesus standing on? (A cloud)
- What did Jesus leave behind on the earth below Him? (His footprints, perhaps showing He was Human)
- Who is central figure in the bottom of the painting, standing below and looking up to Jesus? (Mary, The mother of Jesus Christ)
- How do we know this is Mary? (She is wearing a blue stole–a traditional color for Mary; she is a central figure in the lower portion of the painting.)
- What do you think her hands show? (She is praying.)
- What do the hands of some of the Apostles show? (They are receiving Christ’s blessing; or are asking for His blessing.)
- What do the expressions of Mary and the Apostles show? (Awe, reverence, amazement, love, etc.)
This family conversation and art experience was inspired by MagnifiKid! May 20 or June 2, 2019, Vol 16. Part 7. Section 2. Pages 14-15 “Learn to Contemplate”
We Learn Through Reading
“Jesus is always with us” By Lisa Reno, MagnifiKid! May 20 or June 2, 2019, Vol 16. Part 7. Section 2. Page 3
“For forty days, Jesus has appeared to his disciples. They have seen him: they have recognized him. They begun to understand the incredible, amazing news: Jesus, the Son of God, who was crucified, has risen! Through him, death and evil have been conquered. Now Jesus Christ leaves his friends in order to return to his Father. Yet his disciples will not be alone, because Jesus has promised to send them the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit comes, they will no longer be able to be silent: They will understand that this news must be announced to all people at all times and in all nations. You have heard this news; the faithful who have come before you, your family, and all the church, have brought it to you. Even if Jesus is no longer visible on this earth as he was to the first disciples, he is present in his Church, through his Spirit, through his word, and through his sacraments. It is up to you to meet him.”
We Learn About Jesus Through Prayer
Pray the Rosary, Announcing The Second Glorious Mystery,
- “Make the Sign of the Cross saying ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.’, and say the Apostles’ Creed: ‘I believe in God, the Father almighty creator of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father almighty. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.’”
- “Say the Our Father: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.’”
- “Say three Hail Marys for Faith, Hope, and Charity: ‘Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners, Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.’ – 3 times.”
- Say the Glory Be: ‘Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.’”
“Announce ‘The Second Glorious Mystery – The Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven’ and then say the Our Father.”
“Say ten Hail Marys while meditating on the Mystery.”
- “Jesus remains on earth forty days after His Resurrection to prove He has truly risen from the dead.
- He commissions the apostles to preach the gospel to every creature, and promises to be with them forever.
- He will not leave them orphans, but will send the Holy Spirit to enlighten and strengthen them.
- Jesus proceeds to Mt. Olivet accompanied by His Mother and the apostles and disciples.
- Extending His pierced hands over all in a last blessing, He ascends into heaven.
- As He ascends a cloud takes Him from their sight.
- Jesus ascends to take His place at the right hand of the Father.
- What jubilation there must be amid the angels of heaven at the triumphant entry of Jesus.
- The wounds in His glorified body are an endless plea before the Father on our behalf.
- The disciples leave Mt. Olivet and ‘return to Jerusalem with great joy.’”
“Spiritual Fruit: Christian Hope”
“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”
Oh My Jesus
“O my Jesus, forgive us of our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls into heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.”
A Helpful Thought About Praying the Rosary:
“Think of the rosary as being like the ocean: There’s something in it for everyone, whether you consider yourself a veteran mystic longing to go deeper in prayer with our Lord, a novice struggling to learn how to pray, or someone seeking the Lord’s help, right now, with something going on in your life. The deep-sea explorer and the child making sand castles on the beach can fully enjoy the same ocean while playing at different levels. And this is true with the rosary.”
We Celebrate With Music
“Alleluia! Sing to Jesus” A Classic Ascension Hymn
“1 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus;
His the scepter, His the throne.
Alleluia! His the triumph,
His the victory alone.
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion
thunder like a mighty flood;
“Jesus out of ev’ry nation
has redeemed us by His blood.
2 Alleluia! Not as orphans
are we left in sorrow now.
Alleluia! He is near us;
faith believes, nor questions how.
Though the cloud from sight received Him
when the forty days were o’er,
shall our hearts forget His promise,
“I am with you evermore”?
3 Alleluia! Bread of heaven,
here on earth our food, our stay.
Alleluia! Here the sinful
flee to You from day to day.
Intercessor, Friend of sinners,
earth’s Redeemer, hear our plea
where the songs of all the sinless
sweep across the crystal sea.”
Source: Hymns to the Living God #180
Video By The Notre Dame University Choir
We Celebrate Through Art–An “Ascension” Collage
Method and Materials
The collage above requires two pieces of watercolor paper, any type of watercolors (I used liquid watercolors here.) scissors, and glue. The white school glue works best. Invite your child to paint swirls on the paper to indicate the sky, and a yellow or gold halo. When the painting is completely dry, flip it over and trace or draw a cross. Cut it out, then continue to cut geometric shapes to make the “stained glass” mosaic with the pieces. Lay the pieces out on the second sheet of watercolor paper a design your child likes. Next, glue the pieces down. I use my finger to completely cover the paper pieces with glue. Let dry. The important elements of this collage to help your child remember the “Ascension” are: the Cross, representing Jesus; the clouds under His feet; and the radiant halo above the top of the cross, symbolizing His head.
Suggested Homework Activities–Week Twenty-Eight
This week, please read “John, chapter 6:60-69” with your children. Help them with new words or concepts, such as: “murmuring”, “ascending”, “no avail”, “betray”, “granted”, “former way of life”, “eternal”. You can read from a Catholic Children’s Bible, your family Bible, or the excerpt below from the USCCB.org.
“Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said,
‘This saying is hard; who can accept it?’
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, ‘Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.’
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.’
As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer walked with him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, ‘Do you also want to leave?’
Simon Peter answered him, ‘Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.’”
Teach your children the meanings of these three words: ASCEND, DESCEND, TRANSCEND.
Talk about how each word is related to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.