I’d like to welcome you to our Perseverance Family conversation. I’m Father Ed Broom, an Oblate of the to the Virgin Mary. It’s always great to be with all of you at the start of this new day, this new week we see celebrate this wonderful Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into Heaven.
The Lord is truly raising alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. He has ascended on high where he takes a seat at the right hand of God the Father. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia! I would like to start off our conversation by inviting Mary to be with us. Mary has many different titles. Mary is the Mother of God; Mary is the Mother of the Church, and Mary is the Mother of each and every one of us. We also call out to Mary as we’re doing the Hail Holy Queen, Mary is our life, our sweetness and our hope.
Let’s call out to Mary, and invite Mary to be with us by our prayers, so that we would love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Let’s pray the prayer that Mary loves most. And that prayer is the Hail Mary.
Together: Hail Mary. Full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus, Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Let’s lift our gaze and pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s pray to our Spiritual Director. That is the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit has many different titles. The Holy Spirit is known as the Paraclete; Holy Spirit is also known as the Gift of gifts; Holy Spirit is also known as the. Sweet guest of the soul; Holy Spirit is also known as Our Counselor as well as our Consoler; Holy Spirit is also the sanctifier; Holy Spirit is our interior Master or teacher. Let us turn the Holy Spirit and beg for his Presence as we converse today. Ask the Holy Spirit to give us a lot of light but also to give us interior fire of love to burn within our hearts. As we pray: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful enkindle within us the fire of your divine love send forth your spirit, and they shall be created and thou should renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray. Oh God, who did instruct the hearts of your faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us that by the same spirit we may be truly wise, never rejoice in his consolation through the same Christ our Lord, Amen. Glory be to the Father, to the Son, to the Holy Spirit, as it was in beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen. So, Lady Guadalupe, pray for us. Saint Joseph, pray for us. Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us. St. Gabriel, pray for us. Saint Raphael, pray for us. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us. Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us. Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, pray for us. All God’s Angels and Saints, pray for us. In the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.
This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it, alleluia. alleluia, alleluia. So today we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in to heaven. To motivate all of you, I promise to pray for you in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I’d like the place, all of you on the altar and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There is no greater prayer in the whole world than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I’d like to place you on the altar with the following attentions.
First, I’d like to pray for all of us as we draw closer to Pentecost, which is the coming of the Holy Spirit, which we’ll be celebrating next Sunday. That all of us would be more and more open to the prompting, the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, the Sweet Guest of our soul. Perhaps we could say this prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit, come. Come, Holy Spirit, come to the Heart of Mary. Come, Holy Spirit, come. Come, Holy Spirit, come to the heart of Mary”.
Let’s pray that we would be open to His inspirations and be motivated to do great things for God. The Saints who are the masterpieces of the Holy Spirit.
My second intention, I like to pray for your families, for the conversion of the family members, those who have walked away from God, but also I’d like to pray for ourselves so that we would go deeper in our own conversion to Christ. And for our sanctification. A Better way of explaining sanctification would be our growth and holiness, that we would not stagnate, but that we would grow in holiness.
Third intention, for our final perseverance and grace that we would die in God’s grace so that we can go to heaven. Jesus says: “what would it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?” I’d also pray for those who will be dying today, that there will be saved. Jesus says what does it profit a man if he gained the whole world and lose his soul? So those are my intentions that I’d like a place on the altar in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today.
Given that we’re still in the month of May, May is for Mary, I would like to give a a brief Marian catechesis. Id’ like to invite you to honor Mary by praying the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Perhaps the most famous is the Litany of Loretto. If you’ve never prayed the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary invite you to do it. It’s a series of short invocations, short prayers, that we offer to Mary. These short invocations we respond by saying, pray for us! For example: Holy Mary of Mary, Mother of God, pray for us. Mary mother to church, pray for us. Mary, Virgin of virgins, pray for us. Mary, Mystical Rose, pray for us. Mary Tabernacle of God, pray for us. Mary, Ark of the Covenant, pray for us. Mary, Model of patience, pray for us. There’s a series of invocations that we pray to Mary, terminating with the words pray for us. The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The invocations present Mary’s virtues. Many of these invocations are biblical and many of them are somewhat poetic and also they’re mystical. They bring us to go deeper and deeper into the Word of God, the Bible. They’re poetic and a beautiful expression. of linguistic perfections and mystical means that raise our hearts on high to God. Helping us to have a deeper union with God through a deeper prayer life. That’s my suggestion that sometime, perhaps in this week, to pray the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary Litany, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
REFLECTION FOR TODAY | THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST
Today, my friends we celebrate the Ascension of our lord and Savior Jesus into heaven. In the context of the liturgical year, we celebrate Easter, which is the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with the Easter Vigil Mass. In which you have the Baptism of the neophytes, their Confirmation in their First Communion. Then that whole week after Easter Sunday in the Easter Vigil Mass that whole week we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviro Jesus Christ. This is the foundation of our Catholic faith! Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again, we say, in the Mass. Jesus Christ is truly risen from the dead. alleluia. This is the day the Lord has made, l let us be glad and rejoice in it, alleluia.
We celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, but also we celebrate that not simply one day, but we celebrated 8 days. We celebrate that from Easter Sunday until the following Sunday in which we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Which was a feast day that was instituted by Pope St. John Paul II on April 30th. 2000. On that day, he also canonized St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. Who’s known as the Secretary of Divine Mercy. “Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you”. That day if you made your confession and you receive Holy Communion you received the special privilege of having your soul become white as snow, like a baptismal grace, one of the promises that Jesus gave St. Faustina.
The Easter season is 50 days. we’ve been in the Easter season all these days, and that leads us to what we celebrate today, the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven. And some Diocese that was already celebrated last Thursday, Ascension Thursday. Wherever most diocese in the United States of America, they celebrate the Ascension of our Lord this Sunday. So what does this mean? Well, Jesus, after he rose from the dead, hee stayed with the disciples for 40 days in which he was manifesting to the world that he was not dead, but he was alive.
This preeminent action of Christ in which he truly rose from the dead, never to died again. Was a life transforming event that will that that would change the whole world until the end of time, all the way into eternity. Christ conquers death by his Resurrection. He proved to others that he did die, but he rose from the dead and that means that he appeared to others to prove His real presence.
First, he appears to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Even though this is not written we believe that he truly appeared to his Blessed Mother. She was the only one that didn’t doubt. Other apparitions? Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene; Mary Magdalene believed that Jesus Christ was the Gardener. He appears to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24) They only recognize him when He breaks bread. They recognized him in the breaking their bread, they went back to the Apostles in Jerusalem relating what they had experienced on the road to Emmaus and, they said, “did not our hearts burn within us as he explained the word of God to us”.
Jesus appears to the Apostles in the Upper Room. All this happened on Easter Sunday! The doors were closed, Jesus just goes through the Wall in His glorified presence. And he says, “Shalom, peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you”, and he breathed on them, the Holy Spirit, said, “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they’ll be forgiven, who sins you hold down, they’ll be held down.
Then Jesus will appear to the Apostles when they go fishing. The Apostles catch nothing the whole night. Jesus, the man on the shores, tells them to cast their net on the other side of the boat, and they catch so many fish that the nets were almost breaking. And John sees that this is Jesus, and he says “it’s the Lord”, Peter launches himself into the lake Galilee, swims, and there are Lord is preparing breakfast for them. And after they’ve eaten, Jesus walks on the shore with Peter and asks him three times. “Peter, do you love me? Feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Feed my lambs”. Then Jesus appeared to say Paul, then Jesus appeared to 500 others at the same time.
I’m purposely going through these Resurrection events to point out the fact that Christ even though he died, he truly rose from the dead never to die again. Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again! We should be beg the Holy Spirit as we contemplate the Resurrection of Christ for the most intense joy, in Spanish “intensísimo gozo” And the reason for this joy is that Jesus Christ is truly risen from the dead of the alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
After appearing during these 40 days to the Apostles, Jesus summons them to Mount Olivet. They climb the mountain. This is very symbolic, the mountain. We have the Sermon on the Mount, we have Moses ascending the mountain, we have the Transfiguration which took place on the mountain. They are sent to a higher place, a higher realm! We’re also called to climb the mountain. Saint John the Cross wrote a mystical work called the Ascent to Mount Carmel. Were called to ascend the mountain of holiness in our spiritual life. So, they’re in the mountain, they go to the mountain, the passage is taken from the last few verses of Saint Matthew, chapter 28. It says: “…when they saw Him, they worshipped”.
Let’s briefly speak about “worshipped”. Of all the different types of prayer that we can offer to God, the highest form of prayer that we can offer to God is… What do you think? Of all the types of prayer that we can offer to God, by far, the highest form of prayer which we can offer to God is that a praise and worship. And on earth, the greatest prayer we can offer to God is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What is the purpose of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? In that doxology, as the priest lifts up the Host and lifts up the Chalice, we hear these words: “through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity, Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, Almighty Father, forever and ever”. Amen! So as the priest, lifts up the Host, and the patent, and the Chalice, there’s an upward descent, this is the Ascension. There’s an upward ascent, the Ascension!
The doxology is very much related to the Ascension that we celebrate today. The upward rising of the Host and the Chalice points the purpose of our existence. And the purpose of our assistance is: “we’re here to praise God, we’re to praise God the Father, by the offering of God the Son, and by the power of the Holy Spirit”! Praising God the Father for the offering of God the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Once we get to heaven, we’ll be praying, we’ll be loving God, but we’ll be praising and worshipping God for all eternity. So the biblical text says that they worship Him, but it’ll it also said they doubted, interesting! Jesus is risen! He’s appeared several times, but still, some of them doubted. Perhaps even today, some of us are doubting.
We can bring this to the Lord in prayer. Lord, help me to overcome my doubts but have by having a greater trust than you. Such a good prayer. Think about it! Many people, I believe, have trust issues. We trust God only up to a certain point, but when things don’t go our way, when things seem to fall apart, when there’s no apparent success, when we have certain setbacks or failures, then we start to doubt. So let’s pray that God would give us greater trust. Perhaps we can even look at that image of Jesus and Divine Mercy. And say, “Jesus, I trust in you”. We can say with that man and the gospel Lord, “I believe Lord, but strengthen my faith”.
After Jesus is already risen 40 days, they’re still doubting. And that’s for us, because we. Of all the theological virtues that of that of a lack of hope is predominant of our culture. There are two sins against the virtue of hope, one is presumption which means “I can keep continue sinning, God’s going to save me anyway”. That’s the sin of presumption. The other one is despair. Which I’m convinced that, my sin or sins are so bad that God cannot forgive them. That was the sin of Judas Iscariot. Let’s ask God to strengthen our hope in Him and that we would not doubt.
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Jesus and approaches them, take that word for approach. There’s that recoil from them, but he approaches. If you look at the Divine Mercy image Jesus is stepping towards us, not stepping backwards. The Lord approaches us! But also may we approach Him also.
Jesus says: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”.
Then we have another attribute of Christ, all-powerful. Another word for all power would be omnipotent.God is all-powerful. But let’s be honest, we are all very weak. Oh true, God is all- powerful, but we are very weak. So we’re walking hand in hand with Christ that we’re all powerful too, because he’s the essence. Of holiness and purity and power and intelligence. God is the essence of all these virtues! “All power in heaven and on earth has been give to me”. So we are weak, but we are. Associated with an all-powerful God, Jesus. After this we have Jesus giving his last words in the Gospel, this is the gospel of Saint Matthew, (Mt 28: 16 -20) the last five verses of the Gospel of Saint Matthew.
His last words are his missionary mandate. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations”. So what Jesus is saying is this we say that the Catholic Church is one holy, Catholic and Apostolic. These are called Four Marks of the Church One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. By saying this, Jesus is saying that he wants the whole world, every continent to belong to Him. every country to belong to him, every nation to belong to him; Every state to belong to him; every county to belong to him, every city to belong to him; every village to belong to him. Every family to belong to him. Everyone in the world to belong to Jesus Christ. That is his intention.
With that, we have the word Catholic. Catholic actually means in Greek Kata, holos, Catholic. What is this word? Kata holos, this Catholic mean? It actually means universal. Not local or provincial, but universal. Jesus wants all to know him, to love him, to obey him, and to be saved. So these words. Are related to what we call the missionary mandate. We should feel like incumbent upon us to be missionaries. These are the last words of Christ, to be missionaries. So that means, my friends, we have a lot of work to do. Think about China. More than a billion people. It’s a communist country denying. God’s existence. Communist Russia. Communist Vietnam. Communist Korea. North Korea. Communist. Cuba. All these are communist country. And Karl Marx says that religion is the opium of the people. Let the poor peasants believe in God. As the pacifier, to appease, to pacify the multitude. So, my friends, we have our work. We have our work cut out for us. We’re not called to sit on our hands. Would have played tic tac toe, nor to be passive. Jesus wants us to preach and extend His Word to the four corners of the earth. For that reason, over the past few weeks Pope Francis in his General Audience on Wednesday, He’s giving a catechesis. Pope Francis is is exhorting us, encouraging us to have Apostolic zeal.
Pope Francis means he’s encouraging us to try to as best we can to bring Christ to others and bring others to Christ. Last Wednesday, Pope Francis presented to us a model for Apostolic Zeal, a missionary. Who has been the greatest missionary in modern times? Is the great Saint Francis Xavier. Well, at Saint Ignatius of Loyola formed the company of Jesus, the Jesuits, they had four vows, one vow was to do and to go wherever the Holy Father would send them. Had a very strong missionary spirit. The Pope wanted to send missionaries to the Far East. St. Ignatius asked Francis Xavier, “would you be willing to go”? And he said yes and then Ignatius said to Francis Xavier: “go now and go set all on fire. Go sit all on fire.” So what the Portugal embarked Did he travel to India? Where his headquarters was gone. You went from India to Indonesia, from Indonesia to Japan, from Japan. He wanted to go to China because if you went to China and the Chinese were converted, then that would be like a domino effect in the conversion of Japan. But he died overlooking main land China on the island of San Chan and died when he was 46 years old. Having worked as a missionary 11 years. Go set all on fire. That’s what Jesus was saying, That what Jesus was saying we have in the Gospel today (Mt 28). Go therefore and make disciples of all nations and then Jesus says to baptize them. How? To baptize him in the name of the Father and of the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. So to first teach, Swo that our faith is understood then after the teaching, then to baptize.
This would be a good day, my friends, which we can renew our baptismal commitment. We should be to renounce sin, to announce the pomps of the devil, to end renounce worldly values, to renounce everything in our lives that can impede us from giving ourselves fully and totally to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you know any family that doesn’t have a child baptized, to strongly encourage this family member or friend to have the child baptized as soon as possible. In the lives of many Saints, they have their child baptized the same day that the child is born realizing the many graces that flow from the moment that’s that that someone is baptized.
Jesus says to go out to all nations and to make disciples of all nations to teach what He has taught them. In the baptize and you have the Trinitarian formula. Jesus says to baptize in the name of the Father, and of Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Then Jesus says, “teaching them to observe all that I’ve commanded you”. So Jesus is insisting also upon teaching! My friends how important it is to have good teachers! We’re ready and willing to teach the fullness of the faith to others.
PRIETS CALLED TO PRAY AND TO PREACH
We as priests are called to pray and to preach. But one of the dimensions or purposes of our perseverance family conversation. It is my hope and desire that all of you will become teachers. Maybe not a formal teacher in the school. But all of your teachers, Catechists of the Catholic faith. Many of you are parents, some of your grandparents. You are the primary teachers and catechists of children. Parents are the primary educators of their children. So the better we can educate ourselves, the better we can educate, inform ourselves, the more we’re able to educate others. Then the last words of Jesus. He says: “and behold I am with you always, even until the end of the age”. With that we have the Acts the Apostles Chapter One. This extension of the Gospels I mentioned my course on the Acts of the Apostlesthat after we finished reading the Gospel of Luke, the Acts chapter one is like an extension of the last chapter of the Gospels. So Jesus ascends. So what we celebrate today is the second glorious mystery Jesus ascends on high. He goes up and up and up. Go to the clouds. Where he sits at the right hand of God the Father. From thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead, and his Kingdom will have no one. We pray that the Creed. Every time we go to Mass on Sunday.
The question that possibly crosses our mind if our Lord says that he’ll be with us always until the end of time. Then he sends and it goes through the clouds, where he sits at the right hand of God the Father. How can it be that he says he’s going to be with us when he’s leaving us? I think it’s a good question. And the response is the following. Is. That Jesus passes through the clouds and he sits at the right hand of God the Father. Then where is he? If he’s going up to heaven. And the response is very simple. He’s not with us in what is called his glorified body in heaven. But Jesus remains with us until the end of time in another presence. That other presence would be in his church, which we can define the Church, as the Mystical Body of Christ. I’ll be with you always until the end of time. So he’s with us in the church. And you, my friends, are part of the Catholic Church. Saint Peter says in one of his writings you are the living stones. You are the living stones of the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ. You are the Living Stones of the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ. And Pope Saint John Paul II. says that the very living heartbeat or center of the church is the Tabernacle, where you have Jesus present in the Eucharist, in his body, his blood, his soul, and divinity. So we should be drawn to Jesus Christ in his church. In his members were part of the members. But most specifically, the Jesus press is present. He has His real presence. And Eucharist means Thanksgiving. So, my friends, these are the messages for us today!
ALL CALLED TO BE MISSIONARIES
All of us are called to be modern apostles, modern missionaries! We’re called to extend the message of Christ t the four corners of the world. We’re called to promote baptism in the name of the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit. But also we’re encouraged with those last words of Christ. He said, we’re not orphans, we’re not alone. Jesus said that he’ll be with us, always given until the very end of the world. He’s with us in his church. And now Jesus will send upon us in his church the Paraclete, the Consoler, the Sweet Guest of the soul, and that is the Holy Spirit.
Mary’s the daughter of God’s Father. Mary is the Mother of God, the Son. Mary is the Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit. I am Father Ed Broom, and I’m an Oblate of the Virgin Mary. In there by all of you can be missionaries and to share this to all of your friends. May God be with you, and may almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen