June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart and the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is centered on the heart of Jesus as the emblem of Divine love. This Feast has been a Solemnity in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar since 1856, and is celebrated 19 days after Pentecost. Even though there has been the devotion to the sacred Heart from the early days of the church we have from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the first unmistakable indications of devotions to the Sacred Heart in the Benedictine or Cistercian monasteries. The most significant source for the devotion to the Sacred Heart is from the revelation to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), who claimed to have received visions of Jesus Christ. The revelations were numerous, and the church has accepted these to be real and deeply spiritual. In one of the apparitions, Jesus allowed Margaret Mary to rest her head upon His Heart during which time He revealed to her the wonders of His love, telling her that He desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of His goodness, and that He had chosen her for this work.READ MORE
Today, we are celebrating the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. This special Feast is celebrated inremembrance of Jesus who gave His life for our salvation and commanded us to celebrate the Sacrament of theHoly Eucharist in his memory. There are two feasts in the liturgical calendar that invite us to meditate on the mystery of the Eucharist: Maundy Thursday and the Feast of the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus, that is, today. The Feast owes its existence to Blessed Juliana of Liege, who began devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in around 1230. Largely through her insistence, in 1264 Pope Urban 1V commanded its observance by theuniversal church. The Feast sums up three important confessions about our Faith. First is that God becamephysically present in the person of Christ, True God and True Man. Secondly, God continues to be present inHis people as they form the Mystical Body of Christ in his church. And thirdly, the presence of God under theform of bread and wine is made available to us on the altar at Mass and preserved there for our nourishment andworship. Our liturgy today recalls the scriptural origins of this devotion.READ MORE
The Feast of the Holy Trinity is a mystery and humanly speaking difficult to comprehend. In our daily life we begin every one of our prayers, activities, programs or works with the sign of the cross and call upon God, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Even though we remember the Trinity several times a day, it is difficult to understand the full meaning because the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit we invoke constitute a unity and yet separate. The Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity consists of this: the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods, but only one God with three attributes. We have Father who is the creator, Son, the redeemer and Holy Spirit the sanctifier and the counselor. This is the Mystery of the Trinity of Persons in the one God.READ MORE
Today we celebrate the birthday of the universal church. We celebrate the presence of the Spirit in this believing community today, just as it was present among the community in Jerusalem. In some countries this day is celebrated as the feast of the laity. It is the feast of every believer. The liturgy of the Word on this day suggests the theme of unity of the Church.
I would like to develop this reflection focusing on three possible meanings of this feast, exploring also what the Spirit – the Holy Spirit – and his presence can mean for us today.READ MORE
The feast of the Ascension of Our Lord is a Mystery. Scriptures tell us that Jesus left his disciples to go back to the heavenly Father and promised to return at the end time. He concluded his earthly ministry and with this began the mission of the church. In today's gospel the disciples were saying goodbye to Jesus and we heard the intimate moment of farewell between friends. As he prepared to depart from the earth he offered them his parting gifts: the gift of understanding so that they were able to comprehend the meaning of the Scriptures. He did promise that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit and gave them his final loving blessing and told them that he would not abandon them but remain with them till the end of times. The reaction of the disciples shows a striking transformation. Luke tells us that they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, praising and worshiping God. They were now certainly different from the frightened little band that had gone into hiding, run away from all authorities in Jerusalem particularly after the crucifixion.READ MORE