“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (JN 19: 26-27)
This is what Our Lord wants for us: “take her—His Mother–into our homes.” She knows her Son perfectly; she spent 30 years with Him before He started His mission and was and is His best follower. She knows her Son perfectly because she loves Him in the most beautiful way. When we take her “into our homes,” she will teach us, protect us and lead us to love Our Lord more and more.
“O happy Virgin, you gave birth to the Lord; O blessed mother of the Church, you warm our hearts with the Spirit of your Son Jesus Christ.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.” (ACTS 2: 5-6)
A dream of every one—to be understood, listening to someone who is “speaking in his own language”; how often in our conversations we can hear: “I didn’t mention it,” “No, it is not true,” “You don’t understand,” etc. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand and to be understood because He leads us to be a gift of selves, He helps us to serve and kindles in us “the fire of your love.”
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.” (JN 21: 25)
Maybe it is because every one of us is like a separate book containing “many other things that Jesus did.” If we look at ourselves this way, we can see ocean of miracles: the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, every Holy Communion, other sacraments like matrimony and Holy Orders, or the sacrament of penance and Anointing of the Sick, to say nothing about the graces and support we receive daily. He loves us, guides us and protects us in every moment.
“I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord; he will guide you to all.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’” (JN 21: 15)
This is the question we should ask ourselves daily: “do I love Him more than these?” This is not to compare ourselves with others, but to remember that this is the purpose of our lives: to love more. We can find pictures or t-shirts with a message from an old song (“Spiral Staircase”) : I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow. Do you love me more?
“The Holy Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.’” (ACTS 23: 11)
Everyone has a place like “Rome”—far away, different, difficult and hostile. It could be with our sibling or relative; it could be our workplace or the school of our children; it could be a new responsibility received from our superior. Whenever we are sent to places like this, we can do it, knowing Our Lord is with us: “Take courage.” It is not about us, it is about Him: “as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.”
“May they all be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that the world may believe that you sent me, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (ACTS 20: 35)
It is a part of almsgiving—to share with others what we have more of and they have less of. It is not just about giving money; it is about sharing time when we have one hour more than they do; it is about sharing experience when we are more experienced or about “helping the weak” when we are stronger. When we help we need to remember to respect others’ dignity and also that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
“Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.” (ACTS 20: 24)
Our vocation is also “to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace”; in different places, in different vocations, and in different ways. Some of us will “bear witness” more at home—to spouses and children, some more in offices—to clients and customers, some more within parish activities, etc. It is important to follow God’s will and to listen to “another Advocate Who is with us always.”
“I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection.” (ACTS 1: 21-22)
When Judas betrayed Our Lord and “was the guide for those who arrested Jesus,” the Apostles gave lots to the two candidates, and “the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles.” The only qualification was: “accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came” and became “with us a witness to his resurrection.” When we protect our prayer time to be with Jesus and are “witnesses to his resurrection,” we “bear fruits that will last.”
“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.” (MK 16: 19-20)
Today we celebrate the Ascension of the Lord. He didn’t leave us because when He “took his seat at the right hand of God,” He “worked with them” also. He waits for us in Heaven and is always with us.
“Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” (JN 16: 23-24)
When we ask, we show that we believe and respect Our Father. We pray, we adore, we listen to Him and we give thanks because we are His beloved children, and we receive more than we ask. Our Lord is happy to listen to our prayers and answer when we ask because He desires “that our joy may be complete.”
“I came from the Father and have come into the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” (Gospel Acclamation)