Here it comes....
She stands 4'2 and weighs 70lbs dripping wet. She loves softball, her Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa and is surrounded by female love (She has two younger sisters already). He adores her uncle, a good, holy young priest (and my friend).
What Matty and Livie have in common is that they have just recently entered Christ's army. What a fitting place to be as their once great nation continues to celebrate memorial day this weekend. You see Matty and Livie, both just received their 2nd and 4th Holy Communions at Sunday Mass, receiving their firsts on their respective dates in recent weeks past. They entered Christ's army when they were baptized soon after their birth days. Now like most of us here, they can be nourished at the table of the Lord by the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist.
Before we consider what these two children did to prepare for the Holy Eucharist let us consider the depth of today's readings and Gospel.
Readings, Psalmody and Gospel from Pentecost: Mass During the Day
(Good idea to open this link in another "window")
In our first reading, from the great and important first book of the New Testament following the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles we hear much about the Holy Spirit. To restore original grace, the Father and the Son send the Spirit upon the Eleven and the Mother of God. It comes in the form of a mighty wind or "Ruah", the same spirit that God creates the world with in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible: Genesis. The the gathered elders of the Church, the first bishops begin to speak in tongues. This is not idle babble, rather it is in all the languages for all the world gathered from the diaspora for the Temple celebration of the Pentecost Festival. Link to Jewish Pentecost
Our responsorial Psalm dares to pray: Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
We have a choice today for the second reading and Gospel. I chose Galatians where Saint Paul says we can only profess Jesus as God through the gift of the Spirit. Something to ponder. Many times in our lives we may seem afraid to profess our faith. Other times we are "proudly Catholic". Perhaps when we are afraid we fall under the influence of the Evil One so as to become discouraged to proclaim the Truth which is Christ and the Church he founded, the Roman Catholic faith. When we are confident in faith, especially outside of Mass, it is the third person of God, the Holy Spirit which "advocates" for us, He the Paraclete (literal meaning: "advocate", "intercessor", "teacher, "helper", "comforter", from the Catholic Encyclopedia: new advent.org)
In our Gospel, this time I chose the second option where Jesus tells us who is coming, "the Advocate" or Holy Spirit. Jesus says by allowing ourselves to be informed by the spirit from God we will profess and seek the Truth (He who is the Truth, John 14:6). He tells us to glorify him through the Holy Spirit, and His gifts: (again from new advent.org)
- The gift of wisdom, by detaching us from the world, makes us relish and love only the things ofheaven.
- The gift of understanding helps us to grasp the truths of religion as far as is necessary.
- The gift of counsel springs from supernatural prudence, and enables us to see and choose correctly what will help most to the glory of God and our own salvation.
- By the gift of fortitude we receive courage to overcome the obstacles and difficulties that arise in the practice of our religious duties.
- The gift of knowledge points out to us the path to follow and the dangers to avoid in order to reach heaven.
- The gift of piety, by inspiring us with a tender and filial confidence in God, makes us joyfullyembrace all that pertains to His service.
- Lastly, the gift of fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread, above all things, to offend Him.
And so what to do? Live according to the Triune God, Father, Son and Spirit or the ruler of the world, Satan?
When Matty and Livie received their First Holy Communion they prepared properly as we have. They prayed, learned about scripture and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. My friends we must remember that you and I both need to do the same, every time in preparation to receive the Blessed Sacrament. This means every week if we wish to receive Him every week. A great confusion exists today about our worthiness to receive. We must be more steadfast in our resolve to seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly to be prepared, in a good state of grace, to receive His precious Body and Blood.
In another place from the Gospel Jesus says to the disciples to let the children come to Him, and they do at their First Holy Communions. In yet another section of the inspired, infallible word of God (inspired by the Holy Spirit) he says that we, you and I, must be like "children" to enter the kingdom of heaven.
I think our Lord can speak well enough for himself. Let us then be prepared to assume the great privilege to receive His body and blood...so that through our actions the Holy Spirit can renew the face of the earth, especially now in these trying times.