Next weekend in this month of May, we will honor our moms, and rightly so. In the Church during the whole month of May we honor Mary, even more, rightly so. Not only do we value Blessed Mother Mary’s willingness to give of herself in service and sacrifice to Jesus, her Son, our Lord, but we honor Mary as the first and foremost Christian Disciple. All she did was in perfect love and obedience to the Lord God, even the acceptance of this unique and particular task of motherhood of Christ and the Church. That is our model and our mission in life – to in love and obedience embrace the Father’s unique role for each of us as His beloved daughters and sons. This openness is fostered and sustained by developing and growing an intimate and enduring relationship with Mary who will always lead us closer to her Son, Jesus. And so the recitation of the Rosary for centuries has held pride of place as one of the premier devotions of the Christian prayer life. It allows us to meditate on the earthly life and mission of Jesus by walking-praying-contemplating with Mary who was there from its joyous start to its glorious conclusion and even reigns now in heaven “clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars” (Rev 12:1).
Holy Family will honor Mother Mary this month in two special ways. This coming Friday May 8th at 9a our parish school will have its annual May Crowning (virtually of course, with 8th grader Rebekah Hallal present to do the honors). The video of the May Crowning ceremony will be shared later on our Facebook and YouTube accounts. And each Friday of May, I will lead a live stream recitation of the Rosary at 6p on the parish Facebook account. I encourage the whole family to come together and draw near to our Mother Mary who loves us, even as she loves her Son Jesus.
This month of Mary also started with a feast day to St Joseph the Worker. Joseph, the husband and protector of Mary (and Jesus), worked quietly, diligently, and faithfully to care for his family. This too was a God-given role to fulfill. There is a profound dignity and sanctity in doing one’s work well for family and God. Of course, this is not solely reserved to the fathers in households, but it certain is part of their important role. Joseph no doubt taught Jesus the trade of carpentry. He taught Jesus to work with His hands, to work hard, to do honest work for honest pay. To be attentive to the needs of others. Obviously, as the Son of God, Jesus did divinely know all these things, but the Scriptures point out that Jesus “advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man” (Luke 2:52). This formation of the human nature of the Word-made-Flesh in part happened through the teaching and example of Joseph to whom Jesus was obedient.
We all learned from our parents – mothers and fathers. In this month of May, when we continue to spend immense time intimately and closely with our families, it is a great time to grow in communion with Saint Joseph and Mother Mary. They will teach us to be better parents, children, and Christians. This will lead us to be a Holy Family like the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
This is the Opening Collect/Prayer for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker. A wonderful prayer, challenge, and encouragement for our Christian lives in the Family of God and workers in the vineyard of the Lord.
O God, Creator of all things,
who laid down for the human race the law of work, graciously grant that by the example
of Saint Joseph and under his patronage,
we may complete the works you set us to do and attain the rewards you promise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Please see the attached letter from Archbishop Charles Thompson regarding “Re-Opening”. It does not provide the specifics we all long for, but it states the process of discernment and the governing principles by which the Archbishop will come to his decision to once again open parishes for an active life of Sacraments, Scriptures, and Service. Please read:
He is Risen!
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries