Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the vacation season, or what used to be vacation season! It seems ever since Disney World opened, vacation season is year-round! It isn’t quite summer yet, but it IS a prelude to all that summer, my favorite time of the year, is about. But we must not forget that Memorial Day isn’t about beaches or mountains or golf courses or backyard picnics. It’s about those who gave their life’s blood so the rest of us could enjoy these things in peace, if that’s possible with the daily shootings and monthly mass shootings, thank you NRA. (Yes, I know…”Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Not exactly. People with guns kill people. But I digress!) Let’s not forget to honor in some way all those American martyrs whose blood forms the red stripes on our great flag.
Last week we experienced something I’ve been wanting to see for a long time, and what I hope was the beginning of a new tradition here at St. Charles. I’m speaking of the multicultural celebration of Pentecost last Sunday. So many people have responded to members of the parish staff, including me, about how beautiful it was: the 11:00 Mass with the flags of different nationalities carried in procession; different languages used to proclaim God’s Word, to offer our petitions, and in our songs of praise; the wonderful variety of delicious foods from around the world enjoyed by all who came over to Sienna Hall afterwards for our pot-luck lunch; and the joy of seeing people breaking bread and getting to know fellow parishioners they’ve never really met before! What a unifying experience in celebrating such marvelous diversity it was!
Pentecost is called the “birthday of the church” because it marks the beginning of our mission to “Go out to all the world and proclaim the Good News.” We recall how people of many different ethnic backgrounds who were in Jerusalem heard this Good News in their own languages, which emphasizes the universality of our people and mission. These would become the first members of the community of believers in Jesus Christ, or what became known as “the Church.” What a wonderful way we chose to observe and celebrate this great feast, the last of the Easter Season.
So now as we encounter the greening of the environment as spring has reached its zenith, we return to the green of Ordinary Time…after first celebrating the great solemnities of the Blessed Trinity and the Body and Blood of Christ at the beginning of Ordinary Time. But there’s nothing “ordinary” about this time because there’s nothing ordinary about our faith and what we celebrate each and every Sunday: the life, death and Resurrection of Christ and the great law of love which we are called to remember, to celebrate, and to share with people of every race, language and way of life!
LET’S GO PHILLIES!!
In His Love,