Wildlife fills our life with joy and refreshment. Songbirds and birds of prey, squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and lightning bugs all carry a message worth discovering in early summer. Do we see and hear them, or do we overlook them, even despise them? Are they simply an annoyance, or do we come to know, love, and even serve these fellow creatures by providing protection and habitat?
June: The Sacred Heart of Jesus – The Sacred Heart of Jesus is the revelation of God’s immense love for us. It is often depicted as a fiery furnace, pierced and broken, but beating with love. The Sacred Heart is also a profound reminder of the humanity of our Lord, for his heart is not a mere symbol, but a true physical reality.
Overview of June
The month of June is dedicated to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. This month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time.
As we begin to feel the warmth of summer, we can reflect that we celebrate the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (June 19) and the Immaculate Heart of Mary (June 20). God is Love and the Sacred Heart of Jesus — present on earth in the Blessed Sacrament — is the human manifestation of God's Love for men.
Appropriately June is considered the month for weddings where human hearts join and cooperate with the Creator in bringing forth new life. The family they create is a human reflection of the Blessed Trinity. Also, on June 1 we celebrate the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church.
Following Pentecost, the Church begins her slow descent from the great peaks of the Easter Season to the verdant pastures of Ordinary Time, the longest of the liturgical seasons. Like the lush June growth all around us, the green of the liturgical season points to the new life won for us by the Redemption of Jesus Christ, the new life of Charity. For Our Lord came to cast the fire of His love on the earth, and to that end, sent His Holy Spirit at Pentecost in the form of tongues of fire. Ordinary Time is the hour to “go out to all the world and tell the good news.” The feasts of June highlight this expansion of the Church. At least ten times, the Church vests in the red of the martyrs whose blood is the very seed of her growth. She also celebrates the feasts of the apostles Peter and Paul, and the birth of St. John the Baptist, proto-disciple and prophet. We too are called to be witnesses like the apostles and martyrs. May the Heart of Jesus inflame our hearts so that we may be worthy of our Baptismal call to holiness. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
feasts of this month are
· St. Justin (June 1),
· Sts. Marcellinus and Peter (June 2),
· St. Boniface (June 5),
· St. Norbert (June 6),
· St. Ephrem (June 9),
· St. Barnabas (June 11),
· St. Anthony of Padua (June 13),
· Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More (June 22),
· the Birth of St. John the Baptist (June 24),
· St. Josemaria Escriva (June 26),
· St. Cyril of Alexandria (June 27),
· the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29) and the
· First Martyrs of the Church of Rome (June 30).
The feast of St. Romuald (June 19) is superseded by the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The feasts of St. Aloysius Gonzaga (June 21) and St. Irenaeus (June 28) are superseded by the Sunday liturgy.
JUNE 1 Whit Monday
MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH
Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 8-10:
8 When they heard the sound of the LORD God walking about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 The LORD God then called to the man and asked him: Where are you? 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was AFRAID, because I was naked, so I hid.”
Before the fall both Adam and Eve were unafraid of being exposed to God and they were innocent in that they knew not that they were naked. Adam states I heard the sound of you in the garden. We do not know what the sound of God is from the verse. Was it the same sound as a man walking in the garden? Or was it the sound of a rushing wind? We do not know; but Adam heard God and he was afraid because he was naked. On the cross our Lord who always heard the Father was now utterly alone, …And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani?' which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' and he was also naked nailed to a tree. Tradition states that our Lord’s cross rested on the skull of Adam in payment for the fall. Our Lord paid the ultimate price for our sins. Christ on the cross reversed the taking of the fruit and the eating by Adam and Eve and became the fruit of life. Christ on the cross reversed the nakedness of Adam and Eve by being naked himself. Christ on the cross no longer heard the Father and He was afraid. The greatest fear is a world without the Father. Christ brought us at a great price to bring us back to the Father. We need not fear for God is now in us through the accomplishment of the Holy Spirit. We must listen to His voice and follow Him.
The Law of Influence
Eve had no leadership role; no title yet she had influence. Everyone regardless of their roles is important and generates influence either positive or negative. Eve demonstrated the impact of negative influence. Although God commissioned Adam as her spiritual leader, Eve usurped the role of Adam, who followed his wife rather than God and together they led humankind into sin.
Mary, Mother of the Church
By issuing the Decree on the celebration of the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church, Pope Francis wishes to promote this devotion in order to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety”.
· The decree reflects on the history of Marian theology in the Church’s liturgical tradition and the writings of the Church Fathers.
· It says Saint Augustine and Pope Saint Leo the Great both reflected on the Virgin Mary’s importance in the mystery of Christ.
o “In fact the former [St. Augustine] says that Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with charity she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church, while the latter [St. Leo the Great] says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, thus indicating that Mary is at once Mother of Christ, the Son of God, and mother of the members of his Mystical Body, which is the Church.”
· The decree says these reflections are a result of the “divine motherhood of Mary and from her intimate union in the work of the Redeemer”.
· Scripture, the decree says, depicts Mary at the foot of the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25). There she became the Mother of the Church when she “accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal.”
In 1964, the decree says, Pope Paul VI “declared the Blessed Virgin Mary as ‘Mother of the Church, that is to say of all Christian people, the faithful as well as the pastors, who call her the most loving Mother’ and established that ‘the Mother of God should be further honored and invoked by the entire Christian people by this tenderest of titles’”
FILLED with joy over the gracious descent of the Holy Ghost, the Church sings, at the Introit of the Mass, He fed them with the fat of wheat, alleluia, and filled them with honey out of the rock, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice to God, our helper, sing aloud to the God of Jacob (Ps. Ixxx.).
Prayer. O God, Who didst give the Holy Spirit to Thy apostles, grant to Thy people the effect of their pious prayers, that on those to whom Thou hast given grace, Thou mayest also bestow peace.
EPISTLE. Acts x. 34, 43-48.
In those days Peter, opening his mouth, said: Men, brethren, the Lord commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He Who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead. To Him all the prophets give testimony, that by His name all receive remission of sins, who believe in Him. While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word. And the faithful of the circumcision, who came with Peter, were astonished, for that the grace of the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the gentiles also. For they heard them speaking with tongues, and magnifying God. Then Peter answered: Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
GOSPEL. John iii. 16-21.
At that time Jesus said unto Nicodemus: God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent not His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by Him. He that believeth in Him is not judged. But He that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil. For everyone that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved. But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.
By what has God most shown the greatness of His love? By giving up His only begotten Son to the most painful and ignominious death, that we, the guilty, might be delivered from eternal death, and have life everlasting.
If, then, so many are lost, is it the fault of God? No: as the physician gives up only the incurable, so God condemns only those who believe not in Christ as their Savior and God; who love darkness, that is, the principles and works which correspond to their corrupt inclinations; who despise Jesus, the light of the world, and His doctrines; who neglect the divine service, the public instructions, and the reception of the holy sacraments; who take this licentious life for wisdom and enlightenment; who refuse to be taught, and have pronounced their own condemnation, even before the final judgment.
Why should we love God? Because He has loved us from eternity: He loved us when as, yet we were not. If we love him who does us some good, who helps us in need, or exposes himself to danger for our sake, how much more should we love Him Who has given us all that we have: the angels to be our guards, the sun, moon, and stars to be our light; the earth to be our dwelling-place; the elements, plants, and animals to supply our necessary wants, and to serve for our advantage and enjoyment; Who continually preserves us and protects us from countless dangers; Who has subjected Himself for our sake, not merely to the danger of His life, but to the most painful and humiliating death; Who for gives all our sins, heals all our infirmities, redeems our life from destruction, and crowns us with compassion and mercy.
The Time After Pentecost
As both the Bible and Church Fathers attest, there are several distinct periods of sacred history. These periods arise, are given their own set of dispensations, and then disappear. The age before the Law was replaced by the age under it, and that age, in turn, was closed during the time that Jesus Christ walked the face of the earth. Likewise, the age of divine revelation (which ended at the death of the last Apostle) gave way to a different era, the era immediately preceding the Second Coming. It is that era in which we now find ourselves. Despite the expanse of two thousand years and the plethora of cultural and technological changes that separate us from the Christians who outlived the Beloved Disciple, we are still living in the same age as they, the last age of mankind.
The Time After Pentecost is the time that corresponds to this age. Just as Advent symbolizes life under the Old Law while the Christmas, Lenten, and Easter seasons recapitulate the thirty-three-year era of Jesus Christ's earthly sojourn, the Time after Pentecost corresponds to the penultimate chapter of the story of redemption, the chapter that is currently being written. That story, as we all know, has been written somewhat out of order. Thanks to the last book of the Bible, we have a vivid account of history's climax but not of what happens in between the Apostolic Age and the Final Judgment. In a sense we should all feel a certain affinity for the Time After Pentecost, since it is the only liturgical season of the year that corresponds to where we are now.
Where we are is the age of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is often called the birthday of the Church because even though the Apostles were transformed by earlier events such as the institution of the Eucharist and priesthood on Maundy Thursday or their acquiring the power to forgive sins on Easter afternoon, they - and by extension, the Church - did not really come into their own until the Paraclete inspired them to burst out of their closed quarters and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. And just as Pentecost marks the birthday of the Church in the Holy Spirit, so too does the Time after Pentecost mark the life of the Church moving through the vicissitudes of history under the protection and guidance of that same Spirit. It is for this reason that the epistle readings from this season emphasize the Apostles' advice to the burgeoning churches of the day while its Gospel readings focus on the kingdom of heaven and its justice. It is also the reason why the corresponding lessons from the breviary draw heavily from the history of the Israelite monarchy in the Old Testament. All are somehow meant to teach us how to comport ourselves as citizens of the city of God as we pass through the kingdoms of this world.
The sanctoral cycle that concurs with the Time after Pentecost is the part of the year with the most saints' days. Saints are an important component in the Christian landscape not only because of their capacity to intercede for us, but because they are living proof that a holy, Catholic life is possible in every time and place. In fact, the feasts kept during the Time after Pentecost encompass virtually every aspect of Church life. If the saints in general remind us of the goal of holiness, certain saints, such as St. John the Baptist (June 24 & August 29) or Sts. Peter (June 29 & August 1) and Paul (June 29 & 30) remind us of the role that the hierarchy plays in leading the Church towards that goal. Likewise, the feasts of the temporal cycle, such as the Feast of the Holy Trinity, of Corpus Christi, or of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, direct our attention to the explicit dogma, sacramentality, and spirituality of the Church, respectively. Even the physical space is consecrated for sacred use; all feasts for the dedication of churches take place only during the Time after Pentecost. The Time after Pentecost truly is the time of the Church, the liturgical season that corresponds to the spotless Bride's continuous and multifaceted triumph over the world. This is one of the reasons why the liturgical color for this season is green, the symbol of hope and life. It might also be the reason why it is the longest liturgical season, occupying 23 to 28 weeks of the year.
And because the Time after Pentecost is the time of the Church, it is also a profoundly eschatological season. Every believer needs to heed St. Paul's admonitions about the Parousia and to ready himself for the end times, for the Last Judgment and the creation of a new heaven and earth.
Ask for the Prayers and assistance of the Angels
John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
 Goffine’s Devout Instruction’s, 1896.