The 50 days of Easter (20 April – 9 June 2019) ended on Pentecost, and we have all experienced great joy and salvation that never ends. After Pentecost Sunday, the Church celebrated Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church on Monday, 10 June 2019, as decreed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (dated 3 March 2018). The Universal Church celebrates this day as Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church.
Pope Francis inserted this Memorial in the General Roman Calendar as a result of the 160th Anniversary of the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes, France. Immediately after Pentecost – the birth of the Church – this Memorial appears in our Roman Liturgical Calendars, as a celebration of Mass and of the Liturgy of the Hours, because the Church doesn’t want to ignore the figure of a woman (cf. Gal 4:4), the Virgin Mary, who is both the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church. This Memorial encourages us to grow with the maternal sense of the Church, the Virgin who makes her offering to God
In the Calendar of the Catholic Church, Ordinary Time begins the day after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. However, after celebrating Ordinary Time for nine weeks, we took a break for the major liturgical seasons – Lent and Easter. Now, the liturgical year in Ordinary Time resumes again, to Week 10, after Pentecost Sunday. We should not think that these long periods of Ordinary Times are unimportant and uninteresting, as they are an integral part of the Calendar of the Catholic Church.
Every year, we have a total of 34 Weeks in Ordinary Time. During these weeks, God will continue to speak to us through various events and activities in our parish, including through Scripture readings and the celebration of Sacraments. This helps us to connect with God and Church, as well as in our personal lives, in a more meaningful way. In these Weeks of Ordinary Time, the Church will celebrate many interesting solemnities, feasts, memorials and optional memorial days. The Church will also set aside days in the liturgical calendar to honour saints and other devotions.
There are many mysteries in the Christian faith. The next two Sundays, we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity and the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), which depict the nature of God and the true and real Presence of God. How can we understand God who is described in the Scripture as both the one true God and the God we know as the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit? As we celebrate Corpus Christi – Jesus’ true and real presence in the Eucharist – we pray that He makes us alive in the Spirit, heal our wounds, restores our strength and pours His love and peace into our troubled hearts. Let us say “Amen” as we receive His Body and Blood.
We have journeyed half way through the year 2019. Let us continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will lead our Parish through the celebrations, formations, activities and events, so that we cultivate the Spirit of Easter and move towards a deeper understanding of Christ and His Church. We pray that the Holy Spirit helps us to fulfill our mission of Christ and our commitment to keep the spirit of New Evangelization by building bridges with everyone. May God bless you and your family always.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy