Ordinary Season of the Year (b)
Sunday 27th May: Solemnity of Pentecost. (B)
Today is Pentecost Sunday, a day which is both and end and a beginning. It is the official end of the Easter Season. The Easter Candle is removed from its prominent place in the sanctuary to be beside the Baptismal Font. It is now only lit during the celebrations of Funerals and Baptisms.
Today also marks the great beginning of the Church, the day the Holy Spirit first came to the confused and frightened disciples to inspire them to go out and preach the Good News.
In the first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, Pentecost is described. St. Luke describes the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the effect it had on them.
In the second reading, from the first letter ofSt. Paulto the Corinthians, we are reminded that the Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people for the good of the Church, the Body of Christ.
In the Gospel, fromSt. John, we hear how the risen Christ gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to his disciples and inaugurates the mission of the Church.
Monday 28th May: Monday in 8th week of the year.
Today we revert to the Ordinary Cycle for weekdays of year 2.
St. Peter’s first letter is very pastoral in its tone and its content. It was written to Christians scattered throughout the various provinces ofAsia Minor. It aims to encourage and support these new converts in the face of the real practical problems and crises they faced in their daily lives. This opening section is a powerful prayer that sums up the key elements in the Christian teaching. It is a blessing or thanksgiving to God for the salvation, which he has achieved through Jesus Christ.
Jesus teaches that the commandments of the law are the first basic rules of good living. He presents great ideals for us to follow. Those who are rich would find these hard to follow due to the distraction and temptation their money would bring.
Tuesday 29th May: Tuesday of the 8th week of the year.
Peter tells his readers to realise they are specially privileged. Because of their calling, they are to be filled with joy and be holy in all that they do despite their sharing in the sufferings of Christ as well.
Those who do try to follow the ideals of Jesus Christ and leave everything and everyone to follow him will definitely receive their rewards. It will be eternal life.
Wednesday 30th May: Wednesday of the 8th week of the year.
Peter asks the early converts to be true to their conversion, to remember who paid the price for their salvation and how. Therefore, they should be making an even bigger effort to have love for one another, mirroring the love Jesus has for each one.
In the Gospel, Jesus highlights the fact that those who will follow him will suffer as he has suffered. They are to live lives of service, given in love.
Thursday 31st May: Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This feast was first celebrated by the Franciscans in 1263 and introduced to the universal Church by Pope Urban VI in 1389It commemorates Our Lady’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth as described in the Gospel passage read at Mass today. Elizabeth welcomes her as the Mother of the Lord and Mary replies with her great canticle of thanksgiving.
Friday 1st June: Feast of St. Justin.
Justin was born about the beginning of the second century inPalestine. He was born of pagan parents and took up philosophy as a profession. His search for truth led him to Christian faith. In one of his books, he left an invaluable description of the Mass as celebrated inRome in the second century. He was martyred during the persecution of Marcus Aurelius in 165.
Saturday 2nd June: Saturday of the 8th week of the year.
Before we move into St. Peter’s second letter there is a short passage from the letter of St. Jude It reads as if he is writing to combat heresy. But he reminds the followers of Christ to be on their guard against false teaching anad build on the new found faith they have received.
Jealous of his influence, the chief priests again try to catch Jesus out with a question about Baptism but Jesus is too shrewd to be caught out. He tells them if they listened with open minds and watched with open eyes they would see who he was and why he had come.