Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The Ascension, Mother’s Day and Preparation for Pentecost


The Ascension

Dear Parishioner’s,

If you want my thoughts on the movement of Ascension Thursday to Sunday in the state of New Jersey, you can refer to my writing from last year when the change officially occurred. Needless to say, I did not agree, then or now. People who live in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, right over the Delaware River, were/are still obliged to the traditional day on Thursday. A bit of confusion for all, wouldn’t you agree?

That being said, when Jesus ascended into heaven after His time on earth, he never abandoned us. He left us His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. He remains in His words and teaching in the Sacred Scriptures. The ordained priest acts in His very person (in persona Christi) in the sacraments of the Church. He is present where two or three gather in His Name—community prayer, liturgy and worship, especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And, as God-Man, He continues to intercede for us at the right hand of the Father.

Our humanity is now elevated in Jesus’ glorious Body and has entered Heaven. The fall and exile of Adam (original sin) is now reversed through the saving action of Christ, the new Adam. Heaven is open to us through Him. As He told us, no one comes to the Father except through Him (Jn. 14:6). This is what we celebrate today.

I also wish all mothers today a happy Mother’s Day! For most people there is a special bond between mother and child. Our mothers carry us in their wombs for nine months. They endure the pangs of birth. They feed us, bathe us, clean up after us, teach us, comfort us, caress us and, most importantly, love us. How often they are willing to sacrifice for us!

Thanks moms for your strength, patience and ability to make things better by your calming and reassuring presence. Whenever we take you for granted or forget what you have done for us over the years, we apologize. You deserve better from us. We love you!

For those (like myself) who have lost their earthly mothers, please remember to pray for them and have Masses offered for them. Our faith teaches us, whether they are in purgatory or in heaven, they can pray for us! Let’s aid them in getting to heaven by offering our prayers, Masses and sacrifices for them. 

In addition to our biological (or adoptive) mothers, I think that it is also important to remember to honor Mary, our Spiritual Mother as well, especially in this month of May. We honor Our Lady as our Queen and Mother. She continues to intercede for her children here on earth and we place our confident hope and trust in her. Our Blessed Lady should play an essential role in the lives of Catholics and indeed all Christians. She was given to us as our mother through St. John at the foot of the cross: 

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.  (John 19: 26-27)

Finally, we enter into a period of preparation—originally, nine days of prayer or a novena—for the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. As the disciples prayed and awaited the promised Holy Spirit, so should we. The gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church transformed the lives of early Christians into true believers and bold witnesses to the risen Christ and His teaching.

One might see the obvious necessity of another outpouring of the same Holy Spirit for our times!

 Fr. Ed Namiotka


No comments:

Post a Comment