May 8, 2016
Today, there could be a sense of true and complete sadness in the community. Jesus, our Lord and Savior bids farewell to his loyal followers, his friends, his disciples and he ascends to the Father. Our gospel is clear in that as he was taken up his hands were raised in blessing over them in the same manner we, to this very day, also bestow blessings upon the faithful people of God.
What were his disciples thinking as he left them? Were his disciples filled with joy as today’s gospel says or, was there some sadness? Were they confused as to what ought to happen?
These are just some of the questions we can wonder about as Jesus left his disciples. As he was lifted from their sight, he gave them the last teaching and entrusted to them the establishment of the Church in this post resurrection AND ascension period. Now the real work was to begin. These simple fishermen, towns people from the various places he visited and just regular folks were now responsible for spreading the, “Good News.” They must have been excited and filled with some trepidation/fear too.
The excitement that is expressed in today’s gospel as they, “returned to Jerusalem with great joy,” was made possible because they had walked with him. They had learned from the Master Himself. They had heard the stories and experienced the miracles. They had been fed, literally and figuratively by the very hand of God. They had been given the gift of the Holy Spirit – which we will celebrate next weekend on Pentecost – that changed them from the frightened bunch huddled in the upper room. They had become the true founders of the faith upon which a strong and mighty Church continues to thrive. They had succeeded in finally understanding him. If they didn’t really understand what He was all about, then, we most likely, would not be here today still talking about Him and the power of our lives transformed by the saving reality of our God’s love for us.
In addition to this great feast of the Ascension we also take time today to honor all the holy women in our lives that gave us birth. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all Mothers, Godmothers, Grandmothers, Stepmothers and those who have been and still are Mother figures in our lives!! Last week we honored our Blessed Mother with May crowning celebrations at San Felipe, San Jose AND the San Felipe School. All of those moments of prayer and honor were a mere precursor to the prayers and honors we raise up today for our mothers. Whether we are blessed to still have our mothers or, if they have gone to God, we remember them today. We pray for them and honor them as we continue to honor our Blessed Mother.
As of May 21, 2016, two weeks BEFORE FIESTAS 2016 we will move to this weekend schedule: On Saturday evening, the Sunday Mass of anticipation at San Felipe will be at 4:00 pm. Later that evening, at 6:00 pm we will celebrate another Sunday Mass of anticipation at San Jose Mission in Duranes. This can be a very good thing for the people who like to go to an early Sunday Mass at San Felipe, then be free to go to dinner or have other Saturday evening events. The San Jose Mass is a return, I am being told, to a former reality where the community there used to have a Saturday evening Mass years ago.
On Sunday, the Mass schedule will begin as it does right now. The first Mass of Sunday morning will be at 7:00 am; the second Mass of Sunday -- that will remain completely in Spanish -- will be at 9:00 am; the third Mass of Sunday will be at 11:00 am. All of these Masses will be celebrated at San Felipe. This will give us plenty of time between the Masses to clear parking, have some time to do donuts and coffee on the first Sundays of the month and not be so very rushed between the Masses. This will also accommodate all the people who desire and enjoy praying the rosary before the Mass AND the music ministers who rehearse before Mass and review with the congregation the new music that is being introduced to the community.
Let us pray that this change will be something that is truly good for our community. Please join in the praying that all will positively respond to this as we grow as one united community of faith and love.
May God bless us all today and always!