Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Ave Maria!
Third Sunday after Easter—3 May AD 2009

Ordinary of the Mass
Latin Mass Text-3rd Sunday
 English Mass Text-3rd Sunday

    Today is the first Sunday of May, the month which the Church dedicates to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I am going to preach about something else this morning, but it is important for us to realize that all of us are the spiritual heirs of Saint John, to whom our Lord entrusted His Mother as He hung on the Cross: “Son, behold thy Mother.”[1]  Our Lord is the Mediator between God and man, but His mediation is assisted by His holy Mother—indeed, we refer to her as the “Mediatrix of all Graces.”  So always be sure to bring your prayers to Mother Mary, so that she may intercede for you with Her Son.

 

“A little while and you shall not see Me,
and again a little while and you shall see Me, because I go to the Father.”[2]

    Our Lord spoke these words at the Last Supper to convey the knowledge of two very important events to His Apostles.  He was telling them, first of all, that He would be crucified and they would not see Him—but then He would rise from the dead and they would see Him again—their “sorrow would be turned into joy.”  We have been celebrating this joyful event for the past few weeks.

    But our Lord was also telling the Apostles than He would, one day, ascend into Heaven, and be gone from their sight—“a little while and you shall not see Me.”  But then a little while later, they would see Him again in the Presence of the Father.  This was probably a frightening thought to the Apostles, and many of the early Christians were convinced that the end of the world was soon to come—indeed, that it would come in their own life times.

    With hindsight, we know that the world did not come to an end during the first century.  But, on the other hand, it might have.  And, certainly, each succeeding age felt threatened with the prospect that the end might come in their time.  The events of history can be terrifying, and lead one to assume that the end is close at hand:  The Roman persecutions, the barbarian invasions, the rise of Islam, the black plague, the religious wars of the 16, 17, and 1800s, the two world wars of the past century.  All of these have put man in fear of the Ultimate End.

    But, as a matter of actual fact, the world will come to and end for each of us in a highly personal way—for each and every one of us must some day die.  For some of us it will come sooner;  for others, later;  but the day will come, at some unknown moment, for each and every one of us.

    The interesting thing is that the things that we must do to prepare for our own end are precisely the things that must be done if the world is to continue and avoid the ultimate disaster.  Wise political situations must be found, of course, but today we are speaking about what we must do as individuals:

    First of all, as individuals, we must undergo a change of heart.  We know from the Catechism that God made us to “know, love, and serve Him in this world.”  Yet so many people act as thought they were the center of the universe.  They think they are fulfilling their duty if they get to Mass more Sundays than not—forget about daily prayers, or fasting, or penance!  They behave as though God created them to amass fortunes, or to wield power over others.  So, the first thing that we must do is to orient ourselves away from the things of the world, and toward the things of God.  We need the goods of the Earth, of course, but they must become secondary to the goods of Heaven.  Above all, we must be sure that we are habitually in the state of God’s grace.  We can do nothing of any merit until we are filled with the supernatural life.

    The second thing we must do is penance.  We ourselves are sinners—and we live in a society of sinners.  Do we honestly expect God to look down favorably on a society of thieves, murderers, and adulterers?  If we have undergone our conversion of life, we must still atone for our sins, and for the sins of those around us.

    In 1917, at Fatima, that same Blessed Mother to whom our Lord commended us on the Cross, told us through the young children: “If people do penance there will not be war ... but if people do not do penance there will be another war ... and the evils of Communism will spread ... and the Holy Father will have much to suffer.”[3]

    Can anything be more plain?  The same thing that will keep us out of Hell, and deliver us from suffering in Purgatory is the thing that will deliver the world from God’s wrath.

    So, let me exhort you to do those two things

  • Make sure that you have turned your heart away from the world and towards God.

  • Find some practice or practices of penance, and stick with them.

    If you do these things, then our Lord will be speaking directly to you:

“You have sorrow now,
but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice,
and your joy no one shall take from you.”

3891


NOTES:

[1]   John xix: 25-27

[2]   Gospel: John xvi: 16-22.

[3]   13 July AD 1917.

 



Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!