Holy Day message from Fr. Larry
Dear St. Theresa family,
If you are of a “certain age” you will remember that there used to be more Holy Days of Obligation. They are becoming an endangered species. I understand why. When I was young, holy days of obligation would sneak up on you unexpectedly throwing everyone into a state. “Get dressed, we are going to be late for Mass.” 'But mom…' But nothing, I said get dressed and get int the car! I
have us late for Mass.” It was in this calm and reverent atmosphere that we were trotted off to another inconvenient, intrusive experience of worship. An experience I enjoyed as much as a visit to the orthodontist.
It is said that one of the greatest threats to a species is loss of habitat. When crowded out by the culture which sees no value in it or perceives it a nuisance or threat, there is little chance of its survival. Typically, there is an initial fight by the stalwart as witness by my narrative. Inevitable when our religious observations intrude on the sanctity of our weekday lives. What do we do? Attend worship observing the day and incur the wrath of a coach thereby endangering the future athletic aspirations of our children? What do we do? The kids don’t want to observe the feast so why should we make them? Wasn’t it enough that we made them brush their teeth? Isn’t it enough that we make them go to school where they spend the day enduring the indignation of having math, science, grammar, history, and other disciplines crammed into their minds? And besides that, shouldn’t it be their choice? And let’s be honest. After work and school, the gym for us and athletics and dance and martial arts for the kids, we are all tired and cranky and the very last thing we really feel up to is getting everyone in the car for no other reason than worshiping God. This is the habitat that is hostile to holy days. A losing battle to which the church cratered by incrementally removing the species from the habitat.
Today is Thursday the fortieth day after Easter Sunday. According to the Church calendar this is the day of the Ascension of our Lord. Churches in many other countries still observe this as a holy day as we once did. The same is true for the Feast of the Body and Blood of Our Lord once known as “Corpus Christi Day.” Both were transferred to the nearest Sunday because people would not interrupt their week for the observance.
Given the decline in the observe of other holy days of observation I expect the same fate to follow for August the 15th, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, November 1st, All Saints, and December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Even now these feast days are largely ignored when they occur on a Saturday and the requirement of attendance is lifted. Our secularized society in which we insert our Catholic lives, challenges not only our yearly observances, but the role faith plays in our daily lives.
Next Sunday is Ascension Sunday. Most will not remember that until they see it on the worship aid. So, perhaps we could spare a moment today to go outside and look up for a moment. I know, there won’t be anything to see. Jesus is already ascended to his Father so don’t be disappointed that there are no replays, it is just a suggestion to gather everyone in the front yard to look up and offer quick prayer of thanksgiving for His having come down to us, for loving and teaching us, for living and dying for us, and through his death and resurrection giving us the ways and means to return to Him. And like the apostles we can then get back to the daily business of expecting Him to come again. Just an observance.
on Thursday, May 21 at 1:11PM