Luke is the only Evangelist who gives a narrative account of the Ascension of Christ at 24:50-53 (NRSVCE)

"' Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.''

The Ascension is a key element of our faith, in that it finds a place in the Creed. That said, it is intriguing to note that Matthew, Mark and John do not give a narrative account of Ascension. My question therefore is: What is the explanation offered by Catholic Church for the absence of narrative account of the Ascension of the Lord in the Gospels according to the Evangelists other than Luke ?

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    Asking the negative (in regard to the gospel accounts' inclusions or exclusions) puts far more burden on the answer (in terms of documentation and proof of evidence) than asking the positive : Why is a certain thing included in a certain book ? This makes this question very much broader and more difficult to document than the positive. It makes the question unfocused, in my view.Mark 16:19 contains an account of Jesus' ascension so the answer will also have to cover the matter of the Greek Text (not the Vulgate) and the matter of exclusion of that text in modern Greek Texts. – Nigel J Feb 14 at 10:52
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    What specific relevance does this question have to the Catholic Church such that it's reasonable to expect them to have a clear answer? – curiousdannii Feb 14 at 12:40
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    It's an excellent question. The Ascension is arguably the most important miracle in the Bible. It seems unthinkable that it wouldn't be extensively covered in all of the gospels. How could anyone reporting the story of Jesus's life miss out such a crucial piece? – Kevin Ryan Feb 14 at 17:00
  • I'd like you to read this meta-post I just wrote and consider if you really are expecting to get some Official Magesterial teachings or just want say, something between what Dr. Scott Hahn or St. John of the Cross may have written on the subject. christianity.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6850/… – Peter Turner Feb 14 at 17:52

Why do Matthew, Mark and John not give narrative account of the Ascension?

The challenge question of the day! The Catholic Encyclopedia states that St. Luke is not the only Evangelist to speak about the Ascension of Our Lord. There is no need for all the Evangelists to make an account on the Ascension of Jesus into heaven when, for the faithful, it is an accepted truth.

St. Luke, it may be noted did not witness the Ascension and thus he certainly thought it was quite important to mention in his Gospel.

The elevation of Christ into heaven by His own power in presence of His disciples the fortieth day after His Resurrection. It is narrated in Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.

Although the place of the Ascension is not distinctly stated, it would appear from the Acts that it was Mount Olivet. Since after the Ascension the disciples are described as returning to Jerusalem from the mount that is called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, within a Sabbath day's journey. Tradition has consecrated this site as the Mount of Ascension and Christian piety has memorialized the event by erecting over the site a basilica. St. Helena built the first memorial, which was destroyed by the Persians in 614, rebuilt in the eighth century, to be destroyed again, but rebuilt a second time by the crusaders. This the Moslems also destroyed, leaving only the octagonal structure which encloses the stone said to bear the imprint of the feet of Christ, that is now used as an oratory.

Not only is the fact of the Ascension related in the passages of Scripture cited above, but it is also elsewhere predicted and spoken of as an established fact. Thus, in John 6:63, Christ asks the Jews: "If then you shall see the son of Man ascend up where He was before?" and 20:17, He says to Mary Magdalen: "Do not touch Me, for I am not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brethren, and say to them: I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and to your God." Again, in Ephesians 4:8-10, and in Timothy 3:16, the Ascension of Christ is spoken of as an accepted fact.

The language used by the Evangelists to describe the Ascension must be interpreted according to usage. To say that He was taken up or that He ascended, does not necessarily imply that they locate heaven directly above the earth; no more than the words "sitteth on the right hand of God" mean that this is His actual posture. In disappearing from their view "He was raised up and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9), and entering into glory He dwells with the Father in the honour and power denoted by the scripture phrase.

For any more reasoning on this from a Catholic perspective, we will have to wait and ask the Evangelists when we see them in heaven! Anything else is simply an opinion, even from a Catholic point of view.

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