The story goes that Memorial Day celebration had a very humble start. After the Civil War, a mother in a small town in Mississippi, was placing flowers on her son’s grave. She went to the corner of the cemetery to two mounds of earth (no headstone) and placed flowers there, too. Someone pointed out that there were two Yankee soldiers buried there what was she doing. She said that there probably was a mother and spouse up North who were grieving for their loved one also, and she was placing the flowers for them. Memorial day is not Veterans Day but a day to pray for all who have given their lives for our freedom. For us Catholics, every day is Memorial Day in the sense that we remember Jesus’ sacrificial death in the memorial we call the “mass.” Christ gave His life for our spiritual freedom.
We need to carry out the “Great Commission” from Jesus. How do we do it? Do we suddenly turn into religious fanatics and begin preaching to our families, our friends, and those around us? Not at All! We do it simply by making an effort to become the kind of person God the Father made us to be. We do it simply by making an effort to become the kind of person Jesus teaches us to be. We do it simply by trying to make an effort to become the kind of person the Holy Spirit inspires us to be. We witness to Jesus and teach others by our love when others need us, by our patience when others annoy us, by our forgiveness when others wrong us, and by our perseverance when we feel like quitting. Our lives speak more eloquently than our lips when it comes to witnessing and teaching. People would much rather see a sermon than listen to one.
The narrative introduces a new preacher of the faith, Apollos (we hear about him in Paul’s letters). He is said to be a scripture scholar but hadn’t received the Holy Spirit, yet. He preaches Jesus as Messiah. No matter who the preacher is and what methods that person uses, we must remember that there is only one Gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyone needs to have a Bible and read it, and also a Catechism of the Catholic Church which, based on Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, lays out the deposit of faith.
For Relatives Who have Not The Faith
“Merciful Lord, who prayed that there be one flock and one shepherd, I ask the light of faith for those who are related to me and do not know You in Your Eucharistic presence. Give them the joy of Your protecting presence. Bring them into the one fold of which You are the Master and Lord. Forgive them their sins and teach them the way of repentance. In the end bring them into the larger circle of Your family, to God our Father, to Mary our Mother, and to You our Beloved Brother. Amen.”
In John’s Gospel, Jesus makes it very clear that He will not send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, until He returns to the Father. In other words, He must physically leave this world before the Holy Spirit can come. The Ascension, therefore, is connected to the Paschal Mystery of the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. With the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Age of the Church begins.
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer You the most precious body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary., I beg the conversion of sinners. Amen.”
“For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come…” There seems to be a connection between Jesus’ returning to the Father and the coming of the Holy Spirit. With the coming of the Holy Spirit the age of the Church begins.