Today we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, the day in which Jesus having ascended into heaven sends the Holy Spirit down upon the Apostles. In imagery the Apostles receive the tongues of fire. In the Sacrament we too were fully sealed in the Holy Spirit and received the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. Today is a great day to reflect on those gifts and to ponder how well we use these gifts in the service of the Gospel.
Throughout May the Church honors the Blessed Mother. From the days of our youth to today we each may we crown statues of the Blessed Mother with Flowers. Here in the U.S. we honor the Blessed Mother as the patroness of our Country, we call upon her intercession with her Son for the protection of our country and her residents. We pray the Hail Mary, the Hail Holy Queen, the Angelus, calling upon our Mother in Heaven for help with our lives and for those who are dearest to us. Many of us had the gift of growing up with the recitation of the rosary in our homes….how our parents managed that is miracle! The rosary is such a dear gift that many of our loved ones are buried with them in their hands. Some of us carry a pair of rosaries in our pockets or in our cars (what a great way to handle the stress of route three traffic than praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary on bad days and the joyful rosaries on holidays when we head into Boston). We reflect on the various Marian titles: Queen of Heaven, Queen of the May, Queen of the Apostles, Queen of the Presbyterate, Mother of God, and Mother of the Church. Remember that God through Mary’s parents, Ann and Joachim, brought her into the world, and God chose that she be conceived without sin. In terms of ecumenical dialogue some folks of other faiths misunderstand Mary’s role in Catholic life, and counter devotion to Mary can be a form of idolatry; we realize that we pray to God through the intercession of Mary. Among the great gifts to the Church, one of the greatest is the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I ask parents to remind their children, whether fifteen or fifty, of the great resource they have in this private devotion. They face so much pressure and uncertainty in their life. How often do we read of how automation via robots are going to make most of our jobs obsolete. How scary is that! When I was a young man, toll taker jobs were coveted as you earned a great salary, had a job for life, matched with a state pension. When my dad was young many of the ’safe jobs’ were in factories. After WWII if you got a job on the assembly line you were set for life, with a good salary, attractive benefits and a good pension. Automation has replaced many of these jobs. This race to automation will bring about another form another age of an Industrial Revolution, bringing forth a global economy without borders. Challenges from Russia and China, coupled with their satellite proxies, brings forth a sense of doom. How do we cope and adjust and to meet these changes in a confident and hopeful manner. It is in times like this that we face great opportunities, and while many maybe filled with anxiety and some paralyzed, how do we rise up and find ways to succeed. Well the answer is found in our relationship with God. God helps those who help themselves. We help others to God when we teach them how to pray. For ourselves regardless of our age we go through cycles and face situations that significantly change our lives, and we need God’s help to navigate and negotiate these moments.
The discipline of prayer is crucial for us to hold on to hope and live in faith.
The rosary is a giant resource from which we can draw forth direction and counsel in life. Again a reminder that I have placed rosary beads and Fatima prayer cards at each of the entrances. If you want to learn how to pray the rosary you can google that or watch Catholic Traveling Prayers on our website and join me in the recitation of the rosary.