The month of June obtains for us countless graces and blessings through the several feasts and solemnities which our beloved Catholic Church celebrates annually. I would like to review these beautiful feasts and solemnities and I urge all of you to attend and participate at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on these days.
Sunday, June 2 is the Solemnity of the Ascension as celebrated in the Province of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This is the day on which we commemorate Our Divine Savior's return to the Father in Heaven and His command to the Apostles to await the promised Holy Spirit Who would remind them of all that Jesus taught. And, then they were to go into the whole world and announce the good news of the Gospel and baptize all who would believe in it. Since this is a Sunday, we Catholics participate at Holy Mass as our obligation before Almighty God and not to do so without a sufficient reason is to commit a mortal sin.
Sunday, June 9 is Pentecost Sunday, the day on which God the Holy Spirit rushed upon the Apostles gathered with Our Blessed Mother in prayer and He confirmed all present in their faith. So, imbued with His seven gifts they left that room filled with the fire of Divine Love and literally converted the known world with and in the Name of Jesus. We usually consider this feast as the formal beginning of our Church.
The day after Pentecost is now the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and, this year, it will be the day of the ordinations to the sacred priesthood for our two transitional deacons, Gregory Crane and Brandon Wolf. Pope Francis established this feast last year and placed it the day after Pentecost. It is most fitting that we celebrate the fact that Mary is the Mother of the Church since that was the will of Jesus from His Cross and all were gathered with her on that first Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of a rushing wind of tongues of fire.
The next two Sundays, June 16 and 23 are the Solemnities of the Most Holy Trinity and the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). The mystery of the Blessed Trinity is the first mystery of our faith and the Most Holy Eucharist is the very source and summit of our lives of faith in this world. Be sure to participate at Holy Mass on these two Sundays. The 24th of June is the Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist and, while it is not a holy day of obligation, it is most fitting for us to celebrate this great event in the history of our salvation. John the Baptist is the divinely chosen prophet not just to announce the coming of the promised Messiah, but to actually point Him out to the world.
The following Friday, June 28 is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and, again while it is not a holy day of obligation, it is from the pierced Heart of Jesus that every grace flows to us in His Church and from which the Church and the sacraments are born. The next day, June 29 is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the founders of the church of Rome, Peter, the first Pope and Vicar of Christ on earth, and Paul, the chosen Apostle to the gentiles.
What a month for all who are Catholics!