The month of June is the month of Solemnities. Three out of four Sundays in June are marked with special celebrations: Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi. I would like to take some time here and reflect on each of these.
1. Pentecost Sunday, which we celebrate this weekend, is a commemoration of that event in the history of the Church when the Holy Spirit descended on the Blessed Mother Mary and the Apostles fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus. This event marks the birthday of the Church, because without the power and work of the Holy Spirit the Apostles would not have been able to continue the ministry of Jesus through the Church. Jesus promised his Apostles that He will send the great gift of the Holy Spirit who will teach them all things and guide them what to do. Since the first coming of the Holy Spirit the Church has relied on the power of the Holy Spirit in her ministry. We believe that it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that the sacraments of the Church are celebrated, and it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that the followers of Jesus are able to receive the life of grace and healing. This is why it is very important that we acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives by developing a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. We should pray to the Holy Spirit asking for the gifts needed to live as faithful followers of Jesus.
2. Trinity Sunday, which we celebrate next weekend, honours God as He is and as He has revealed Himself to humanity. We believe in what God has communicated about Himself to us, that there is one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God the Father creates, God the Son (Jesus) saves, and God the Holy Spirit sanctifies and guides. In philosophy we have a saying: “Of two we say most, of three we say all”. This means that the minimum number needed to establish a community, or a family, is three. Anything less than three can lead to selfishness. When a person lives alone he/she can be led to only live for himself/herself. When two people live for each other they can become completely focused on themselves and closed to anyone else in the world. But when three or more persons live together they are considered a community, a family, and they are given the necessary checks and balances to serve and not to be served. We see this among married couples who realize how their relationship changes when they start having children. Life is no longer just about the two of them, it is now about their family (which includes the two of them).
3. Corpus Christi, which we celebrate two weeks from now, is a special celebration honouring the great gift of the Eucharist. The Church wants us to take the time and notice how great of a treasure we have in Jesus present in the Eucharist. We can see Him, we can touch Him, we can receive Him. The great gift of Jesus present in Holy Communion, in a humble piece of bread, is a mystery that is most precious to us Catholics. On this day we should take special care in reflecting how we honour Jesus in the Eucharist: do we receive Him worthily by going to confession on the regular basis, do we follow the rubrics of the Church in the way we receive Holy Communion during Mass, do we have a devotion to the Eucharist by spending some time in the Church in the presence of the Lord present in the tabernacle, do we reverence the presence of Jesus in the tabernacles of our churches by genuflecting when we enter and exit the church.
The month of June provides much for spiritual nourishment if we take the time to reflect on the solemnities which we will be celebrating.
Fr. Wojtek Kuzma