Catechism of the Catholic Church

172 Part One A rticle 6 HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, AND IS SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY 659 “So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” 532 Christ’s body was glorified at the moment of his Resurrection, as proved by the new and supernatural properties it subsequently and permanently enjoys. 533 But during the forty days when he eats and drinks familiarly with his disciples and teaches them about the kingdom, his glory remains veiled under the appearance of ordi- nary humanity. 534 Jesus’ final apparition ends with the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory, symbolized by the cloud and by heaven, where he is seated from that time forward at God’s right hand. 535 Only in a wholly exceptional and unique way would Jesus show himself to Paul “as to one untimely born,” in a last apparition that established him as an apostle. 536 660 The veiled character of the glory of the Risen One during this time is intimated in his mysterious words toMaryMagdalene: “I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” 537 This indicates a difference in manifestation between the glory of the risen Christ and that of the Christ exalted to the Father’s right hand, a transition marked by the historical and transcendent event of the Ascension. 661 This final stage stays closely linked to the first, that is, to his descent from heaven in the Incarnation. Only the one who “came from the Father” can return to the Father: Christ Jesus. 538 “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.” 539 Left to its own natural powers human­ ity does not have access to the “Father’s house,” to God’s life and happiness. 540 Only Christ can open to man such access that we, his members, might have confidence that we too shall go where he, our Head and our Source, has preceded us. 541 532 Mk 16:19. 533 Cf. Lk 24:31; Jn 20:19, 26. 534 Cf. Acts 1:3; 10:41; Mk 16:12; Lk 24:15; Jn 20:14-15; 21:4. 535 Cf. Acts 1:9; 2:33; 7:56; Lk 9:34-35; 24:51; Ex 13:22; Mk 16:19; Ps 110:1. 536 1 Cor 15:8; cf. 9:1; Gal 1:16. 537 Jn 20:17. 538 Cf. Jn 16:28. 539 Jn 3:13; cf. Eph 4:8-10. 540 Jn 14:2. 541 Roman Missal, Preface of the Ascension: “ sed ut illuc confideremus, sua membra, nos subsequi quo ipse, caput nostrum principiumque, praecessit. ” 645 66 697 642 461 792