Next week, this article will resume discussions of how Mary’s life provides us lessons for our own relationship with her Son.
Here we will consider four events that come together on this Sunday:
(1) the Solemnity of the Ascension; (2) Mothers’ Day; (3) the 101st anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady of Fatima; and (4) the joy as one of our parishioners is receiving First Holy Communion.
The convergence of these happy celebrations exemplify how the Church unites different sides of our human longings, in this case, the desire for a kingdom with a glorious and graceful king and a holy and powerful queen, but also for a family in which our holy mother and our Divine brother share their lives with us. More specifically, by His Ascension into heaven, Jesus pointed the way to a greater kingdom. If He had remained visibly on earth, we would tend to look merely for an earthly paradise. But ascending into heaven, and ruling over the Church from there, Jesus calls for us to look upwards towards that magnificent realm. But He does not leave us behind. Instead, He is with His Church on earth and allows us to share His very life, especially when we receive Him and share His divine life through Holy Communion. And Jesus did not want to rule alone in heaven.
For every complete kingdom needs a queen; and every complete family needs a mother. Thus, Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven at the end of her earthly life to reign with Christ in glory. But she also did not want to leave us behind, nor rule only by glory. And so she joins with us on earth, not only as queen, but also as Mother of the Church and of each one of us. Mary has demonstrated this queenly majesty, and also motherly care, by appearing at times to people in the Church, expressing the compassionate love of God and of His angels and saints, but also the royal guidance to know that we will have peace and joy only by adhering to His law and repenting of sins. One such Marian apparition was given to the children at Fatima for each of six months, beginning on May 13, 101 years ago.
As we celebrate that event, occurring this year with the Ascension, Mother’s Day, and this parish’s joy at Holy Communion, let us always remember both the majestic glory of God’s kingdom and the personal love of God our Father, Jesus our brother, Holy Mother Church, and Mary the mother of Jesus, the Church and each of us.