My Dear Parishioners,
This week we celebrated a new feast for the Catholic Church. On Monday, May 21st we celebrated Mary the Mother of the Church. We only got word that Pope Francis was establishing it in March and no hard copies of the prayers or readings were distributed. The Catholic News Service reported on their website, “The new feast day, which will be celebrated annually the day after Pentecost, was announced in a March 3 decree by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The decree said the pope approved the celebration because he thought it might “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety.” I believe that it is fitting and appropriate since we identify Pentecost as the birth of the church, that we honor Mary as the mother of the church on the day following its birth.
Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. It always falls on the Sunday after Pentecost. The reason for its celebration goes back to an early heresy in the church. Arius was a priest who incorrectly taught that Jesus, the Son of God was not “of the same substance” as God the Father, but rather that He was created by God. He ended up denying the divinity of Christ and this heresy became known as the Arian heresy. By denying the divinity of Jesus, he consequently ends up denying that there are three persons in One God. This was discussed at great length during the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. As a result of the Council we have the Nicene Creed which we pray at every Sunday Mass and solemnity. That creed states in part, “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. . .” The word, consubstantial means “of the same substance.” Arius’ greatest opponent was a bishop by the name of Athanasius, who was a theologian and one of the great Doctors of the Church.
This Monday we celebrate Memorial Day. The website www.usmemorialday.org says that it is a day of remembrance for those who died serving our country. Originally called Decoration Day, it was first established as a way to honor those who died in the Civil War. The date May 30, 1868 was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle. After World War I, the holiday was designated as a day to honor Americans who died in any war. Later the date was changed to the last Monday in May. I know that traditionally this is the “unofficial start” of the summer season, but let’s not forget the reason for the holiday. We are grateful for the service and sacrifice of all those who died serving our great country. Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine on them. May the Souls of all the Faithful Departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in Peace. Amen.
God Bless You!