A Message from
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Peace and Good! Alleluia!
St. Luke in the Acts of the Apostles tells us that after his death and resurrection Jesus appeared over a period of forty days and then ascended into heaven. In the Bible “forty” does not designate a mathematical sum. It is not to be taken literally. The number “forty” throughout the Bible does not refer to a specific numerical value. Rather, the number “forty” in the Scriptures indicates a period of time in which G of accomplishes his work. Actually, there are sixteen references in the New Testament to forty days or forty years and over seventy such references in the Old Testament. Two examples are the fasting of Jesus in the desert for forty days and the wandering in the desert of the Israelites for forty years. Today we are celebrating the Feast of the Ascension, forty days after Easter. Again, remember that we are not speaking literally of forty days but rather symbolically. This Feast points to that fact that all the final acts of Jesus have been completed and Jesus now will ascend into heaven. Jesus has prepared for his return to the Father by promising to send the Holy Spirit upon the Church. Jesus did his part to fulfill the Father’s plan. Now it is up to us. We need to be a people who take responsibility for the mission of the Church. Just as the messengers tell the apostles on the Mount of Olives: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up to heaven?” Like the apostles, we too are sent forth—down the mount—to do the work of Christ. As the body of Christ, each Sunday we express our responsibility for the well being of one another in the General Intercessions—the Prayers of the Faithful. From these intercessions for our Church, the world, the sick, the poor and for the many other needs of God’s people, we must make a resolve to turn these prayers into action! However long we live, we should put “forty” at the end because during our lives we, like Jesus, have accomplished what God has called us to do.Next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. We will celebrate liturgically the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the early Church and upon ourselves—centuries later! I invite you to wear something red—the liturgical color of the Holy Spirit. In a special way, many of our children and adults will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and First Holy Eucharist at the 11:00 a.m. Mass. We offer them our love and congratulations.
Also, next Sunday, May 19th, is an important date for us at St. Mary’s: One year ago on this day, Sr. Anthony Poerio, I.B.V.M passed from this life to the next. As most of us know, this strong little sister worked faithfully at St. Mary’s for a number of years in the Children’s Religious Education Program and R.C.I.A. Before that, she was the Director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Phoenix for over 25 years. Sr. Anthony was largely responsible for the liturgies for the papal visit of Pope John Paul II to Phoenix. She will be remembered in a special way at Solemn Vespers at 5:00 p.m. on Trinity Sunday, May 26th. Please come and prayer in thanksgiving for a life energetically lived in service of the mission of Christ. May Sr. Anthony rest in peace. Amen.
(from left to right) Fr. Luis Baldonado, Fr. Vincent J. Mesi, Fr. Micah Muhlen
and Brother Tito