At the end of His earthly life Jesus ascends triumphantly into heaven. The Church acclaims Him in His holy humanity, invited to sit on the Father’s right hand and to share His glory. But Christ’s Ascension is the pledge of our own. Filled with an immense hope, the Church looks up towards her leader, who precedes her into the heavenly home and takes her with Him in His own person: “For the Son of God, after incorporating in Himself those whom the devil’s jealousy had banished from the earthly paradise, ascends again to His Father and takes them with Him” (St. Leo).
According to Catholic Culture:
The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is one of the principal celebrations of the liturgical year. The ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia and the State of Nebraska have retained the celebration as a holy day of obligation on the proper Thursday, May 5. All other provinces, including the Archdiocese of Miami, have transferred this solemnity to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 8.
We celebrate the feast of the Ascension for its theological significance, not just the historical. For this day, we can have processions, picnics, dramas, eat poultry, mountain climb…there are several ideas here.
And on Thursday evening begins the nine-day preparation for Pentecost on May 15, each night discussing the nine gifts and the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit. When we use the gifts, we bear the fruits! Also, the Novena to the Holy Spirit may be prayed during these nine days. It is the original novena, of which all others are only imitations. Our Lord Himself instituted it when, on the day of His ascension, He sent His Apostles back to Jerusalem to pray for nine days that they might be ready on the tenth day, which was Pentecost, to receive the Holy Spirit.