June 16, 2019
FINDING PEACE IN THE HEART OF CHRIST
As a parish family we have just completed the celebration the Our Lord’s Paschal Mystery. On a cold Wednesday in March 6th we all came forward to be sealed with the mark of our salvation, the sacred ashes. And thus, did we begin our forty-day Lenten journey to the Sacred Triduum. On Holy Thursday evening we came to celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper which recalls the institution of the Sacred Priesthood, the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, and Our Lord’s command of fraternal charity. We beheld the washing of the feet of 12 fellow parishioners in imitation of Our Lord’s command to love one another. That very evening we had the procession with the Most Blessed Sacrament through the Church as the Knights of Columbus held the canopy over the Blessed Sacrament and we kept watch before Our Lord in the new Fatima Chapel until Midnight.
On Good Friday, we gathered for Morning Prayer and then at three in the afternoon assembled for the Solemn Liturgy of Our Lord’s Passion and Death. We beheld the priest and deacon prostrate themselves before the bare altar. They could not be any lower on this day when the humility of God crushed the Pride of Satan. We let the singing of the Passion wash over us as the waves of the Ocean and we came forward to venerate the Holy Cross.
On the morning of Holy Saturday, we prayed morning Prayer and Deacon Ray blessed the foods from which we had abstained during Lent. (Thank you, dear parishioners, for giving me so much of your Easter food; I am in deep trouble with my cardiologist).
And then on Holy Saturday Evening, began the Most Holy Night when Heaven is wedded to Earth. The new fire was blessed and the Paschal Candle lit. Deacon Ray carried the Holy Easter Candle into the Church singing “Christ Our Light” three times and soon the Church was completely illuminated by the candles held in the hands of all who are believers in Our Lord Jesus Christ. The prophecies of the Old Testament were read until finally the Gloria resounded and the Church was completely illuminated.
For 50 days did we celebrate Our Lord’s Holy Resurrection as we stood in the shadow of the Easter Candle. During these Holy Days we celebrated First Holy Communion and Confirmation for our dear children. And then last week on Pentecost Sunday the Easter Mystery was bought to its glorious conclusion as we celebrated the pouring forth of the Holy Spirit upon the earth and into our souls. At the conclusion of last week’s 11.00AM Pentecost Mass, Deacon Ray solemnly extinguished the Easter Candle as we bade farewell to the Easter Season, our beloved Pascha. Then one and all we sang the Regina Caeli which is the hymn congratulating Our Blessed Mother on the Resurrection of her son. The Easter Candle was moved to the Baptistery where it will remain until next Easter. May God, in His great and abundant mercy, allow some of us to see the Easter Candle lit yet once again at Easter 2020.
June is the month of the Most Sacred Heart. That Feast always occurs in June because Our Lord Himself made known to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque the day He wanted this Feast celebrated. It was to be on the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi.
And that now leads me to our June meditation. It is only in Our Lord’s Heart that we will find consolation and peace. For June is the month of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
When Our Lord had died on the Cross His side was pierced with a lance by the centurion Longinus. That spear is in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Interestingly, toward the end of the Second World War, Adolf Hitler tried to steal that lance, for he, even in his evil perversion, understood, it contained great power. When Our Lord’s Heart was pierced there flowed forth blood and water. Often in the Holy Gospel did Our Lord call Himself the Temple. The Temple of Jerusalem was one of the seven wonders of the world. The light of the Menorah which burned night and day could be seen from the Mediterranean Sea 50 miles away. The gold upon the façade of the Temple was so brilliant that it could not be looked upon lest one be blinded by its brilliance. One of the interesting features of the Temple was that there was a natural stream that flowed from its right side. Since the ancient Jewish religion was a veritable bloodbath with all the animal sacrifices, this natural stream provided a means for the cleansing of the temple. Constantly did blood and water flow from the right side of the Temple.
And when Our Lord was pierced with the lance of Longinus did blood and water flow from his right side. In that blood and water have all the animal sacrifices ceased and we have the forgiveness of our sins. That is why on the great Vigil of Easter when the Congregation is sprinkled with the Easter Water the choir sang, “ I saw water coming forth from the Temple on the right side alleluia and all those to whom this water came were saved, and shall say alleluia.” In my memory, I still hear Eva singing this antiphon as I tried to hold back the tears from my eyes.
Yes, Our Lord is the New Temple and in His Most Sacred Heart we find peace. Has anyone hurt you? Look to this water and blood. Has anyone ever rejected you? Look to His pierced side. In His Heart we find our peace. Has anyone calumniated you? Look to that loving Heart of Our Savior. Has anyone falsely accused you? Keep praying, “I saw water flowing from the temple on the right side, alleluia, and all those to whom this water came were saved, and shall say, alleluia.” At the end of the Easter season we look to that love which has been the very reason for our salvation.
CORPUS CHRISTI SUNDAY Next week, on June 23rd, we celebrate Corpus Christi Sunday. After the 11.00AM Mass we will have the procession with the Most Blessed Sacrament. May we invite all the children who made First Holy Communion this year to wear their First Holy Communion outfits (if they still fit into them) and be in the procession that day.
To all our dear fathers, we wish a very happy and Blessed Fathers’ Day.
In Jesus and Mary,
Monsignor James F. Pereda