Today’s Mass prayers and readings continue to prepare us for the solemn conclusion of the Easter season in the feasts of the Ascending of Jesus and the Descending of the Holy Spirit. Jesus ascends on high, taking our human nature to the glory of Heaven, as our triumphant High Priest. From Heaven, He then clothes us with Power from on high by sending us the Holy Spirit. In this, He makes us one with Him, such that He is our Head and we are His members, and we are closer to Him than we could ever be if He were still on Earth. Thus, one with Him, we can ask the Father for everything in His Name and it will be granted to us.
Our Blessed Mother especially teaches us how we are to live this new life in the Holy Spirit. It was she who especially knew how to ask the Father in the Name of Jesus for the Gift of the Holy Spirit. Her prayers won for the Holy Church this Sending from on high. Blessed Mary is entirely filled with the Holy Spirit and entirely one with Jesus, her Head. She is completely in union with Him, so that she prays with full confidence for all the gifts of salvation and thus, always subordinate to and dependent upon Jesus, is the true Mediatrix of All Graces for us. We celebrated her feast under this title on Friday. On Wednesday, we celebrate her under the aspect of her apparition at Fatima in Portugal, where her basic counsel to us was the constant use of the Holy Rosary. Mary teaches us to pray.
She teaches us first of all to have complete humility and trust in our prayer. She acknowledges her nothingness (“Behold the handmaid of the Lord”) and relies only upon the One Who has done great things for her. She knows that asking the Father in Jesus’s Name means losing self in order to find our true selves in Jesus. She teaches us that the key to prayer is not to trust myself and to find our help only in the Name of the Lord.
She then says, “Let it be done to me according to thy word.” With this obedience to God, she teaches us that our life in the Spirit entails harmony between heart and life. She teaches us that our prayer is answered only if we live as faithful disciples of Jesus. Thus, we are living members of Christ, Who can pray through Him and with Him and in Him. If we are holy, we are as Jesus praying before our Heavenly Father. This is the great lesson our Mother teaches us. Her holiness and obedience is the true secret to her powerful intercession. When she prays, there is no space between Jesus’s Heart and her Immaculate Heart!
Blessed Mother, in this month of yours, prepare our hearts to celebrate well the Ascension and Pentecost. Teach us to pray. Help us to live always as living members of your Son, in Whose Name we receive salvation from our Heavenly Father.
Father Joseph Previtali