CDM for the Feast of Saint Peter Tarantaise (8 May 2013)
This year, Sunday, May 11, will be the great Solemnity of Pentecost, and in our secular calendar, will also be Mother’s Day. So we have much to think about and pray about as this day approaches.
There is a connection between Pentecost and Mother’s Day. When the Holy Spirit came upon our Blessed Lady, his divine power enabled her without human intervention to conceive a child within her womb—the Incarnate Word. Saint John says of this child: “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” And centuries earlier, the prophet Isaiah had said, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and his name will be Emmanuel— God with us.”
Our Lady carried the unborn Christ in her womb for nine months, forming his human body which was united with his divine person. Now, we go forward some 33 years. That son of hers has grown to manhood, and has laid the groundwork for his church. He gives to the church its doctrine, its moral code, its sacraments, its officials, and a small nucleus of its membership. This body, the Church, has members and a head, Christ Himself, but as yet no soul. On Pentecost, the soul is sent into the body and the Church begins to live and function, as it will until the end of time. And that soul is the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. That little nucleus of the church—about 120 apostles and disciples—were gathered around the Mother of Jesus in the upper room of Jerusalem. As she mothered the newly conceived Christ, so she mothers the body of the Church and prays for the coming of the Spirit to give it life, as the Spirit descended into her to give life to the child within her womb.
The upper room is the matrix: the mothering principle. A group of people went into it after Jesus had ascended into heaven. They waited and prayed for the Spirit. The Spirit came into that room, and transformed that little group of people into the Church. The womb of the Mother of Christ and the upper room, the womb of the Church, are similar and connected. Pentecost is a mothering feast, so it is very appropriate that this year, it happens to fall on the second Sunday of May, which we also celebrate as Mother’s Day.
Please think of these things as we prepare to celebrate Pentecost, one of the most beautiful and important feasts of our Church calendar. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: Father Brown composed this message some years ago.