(Letter from the Prelate: May 2013

)

My dear children: may Jesus watch over my daughters and sons for me! The month of May is a time rich in liturgical feasts and in anniversaries of the Work. We want to spend it led by the hand of our Lady our Mother who always brings us to her !on and through him and with him to the "oly !pirit and to #od the $ather. We ask our Lady now to accompany us very closely and to always obtain for us abundant graces to be docile to the %araclete as she was and thus to resemble her !on Jesus ever more and more. &n the weeks since %ope $rancis' election we have seen an eagerness for interior renewal awoken in so many hearts with many people manifesting publicly the need to return or go more fre(uently to the sacrament of %enance. Let us thank our Lord for these gifts by trying first of all to take full advantage of them ourselves while also striving to help our relatives friends and work or study companions to decide to undertake each day)as we ourselves have to do)a *hristian life that is fully consistent with the faith we profess. *ontinuing the e+position of the articles of the *reed let us go more deeply into the mystery of the ,scension of our Lord. We believe that Jesus *hrist risen from the dead ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.- The solemnity that we celebrate this month )on Thursday the .th or !unday the -/th in places where the feast has been transferred) should be for all of us a forceful reminder to stop and reflect on the 0oyful goal to which we are called. This truth reminds us at the same time both of an historical fact and a salvific event. ,s an historical fact the ,scension 1marks the definitive entrance of Jesus' humanity into #od's heavenly domain whence he will come again although in the meantime it hides him from the eyes of men.2/ 3ow he is found present in the 4ucharist in a sacramental manner5 but in his natural being he is found only in heaven whence he will come at the end of time manifesting his glory and ma0esty to 0udge everyone. The 4vangelist who recounts this event in the greatest detail is !t. Luke. ,t the beginning of the book of the ,cts he writes that our Lord presented himself alive to them 6to the apostles and other disciples7 after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of #od.8 "e also tells us that during one of his apparitions to the ,postles our Lord opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.29 !t. Josemar:a often considered these scenes in the family gatherings that he used to have with large groups of people. ;n one occasion for e+ample he invited those listening to reflect on our Lord after the <esurrection when 1he spoke about many things about everything his disciples asked him. We are imitating that scene here at least a little bit since you and & are our
- <oman Missal 3icene=*onstantinopolitan *reed. / Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. >>?. 8 cts -:8. 9 !k /9:9>:9@. -

Josemar:a 3otes from a family gathering . no. and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Jou have to get out of yourself5 you have to complicate your life losing it for love of #od and souls. 4+actly the same! That is contemplation: conversing with #od.nd contemplation and conversation with #od lead us to have Aeal for souls to a hunger to bring to *hrist those who have separated themselves from him.2-E "owever to enter with *hrist into his glory we have to follow in his footsteps.Lord's disciples and we want to e+change impressions. Josemar:a Christ is $assing "y.scension invites us to e+amine if our adhesion to #od's will is as it should be: without hindrances without attachments to our ego with full determination renewed every day to seek it to accept it and love it with all our strength. -E Catechism of the Catholic Church. We too should be clear in our *hristian life that entering the glory of #od demands daily fidelity to his will even when it demands sacrifice and sometimes re(uires us to change our plans..scension the apostles returned to Jerusalem with great %oy.Let us never forget my daughters and sons that there is no *hristianity without the *ross no true love without sacrifice and let us try to conform our daily life to this 0oyful reality because it means following in the footsteps of the Master who is the #ay. > !t.nd at another moment he added: 1"e spoke to them as we are speaking here now.ur Lord in ascending to heaven was acting as "ead of the *hurch: he went to prepare for us a place as he had promised. -9 !k /9:?/=?8.ctober /. Josemar:a 3otes from a family gathering 3ovember 8 -.pril -C /E-8.ddress at a general audience . few days earlier when Jesus announced that they would lose his physical presence they had been filled with sadness5 -? now in contrast they were filled with 0oy. he parted from them.2? . . -. @ %ope $rancis . C !k /9:?E=?-. 1. Jesus has led the way.2> But let us return to the moment of the .C/. -8 !t. !peaking of *hrist's 0ourney to Jerusalem for his final %asch where he was to consummate his redemptive sacrifice the %ope said: 1While he was Fgoing up' to the "oly *ity where his own Fe+odus' from this life was to occur Jesus already saw the destination heaven but he knew well that the way which would lead him to the glory of the $ather passed through the *ross through obedience to the divine design of love for mankind . "ow can this change be e+plainedD Because with the eyes of faith even before the visible arrival of the "oly !pirit 1they understand that although he has ? !t. -/ Jn -9:>.2-. "e 1precedes us into the $ather's glorious kingdom so that we the members of his Body may live in the hope of one day being with him for ever. Love does not claim rights it seeks to serve. -. >>>..-9 .2-8 !acred !cripture says that after the . no. -? !ee Jn ->:>.pril -C /E-8. / .-/ "ence the great feast of the .scension when Jesus led them out as far as "ethany.C/. . the Truth and the !ife. and were continually in the temple blessing &od .%ope $rancis .ddress at a general audience . #hile he blessed them.C &n one of his recent audiences reflecting on this mystery %ope $rancis asked: 1What does this event meanD "ow does it affect our lifeD What does contemplating Jesus seated at the right hand of the $ather meanD2@ . and was carried up into heaven. !ee Jn -9:/=8. .ur Lord does not disguise the fact that his wholehearted obedience to #od's will calls for renunciation and self=sacrifice. "ow did he obeyD FGnto death death on a cross' H$hil /:@I. . -.

2-> Today too by faith we know that Jesus continues to be close to us and in us through grace with the $ather and the "oly !pirit and in the "oly 4ucharist. -C . FJou are also the body of *hrist' H ' Cor -/:/CI says the .pril -C /E-8. &n the second half of the month on the -. (n that day Hthe book of . Let us not be afraid to turn to him to ask forgiveness to ask for a blessing to ask for mercy!2 -C Ko we strive to keep #od present no matter what happensD Ko we welcome his will for usD "ow intensely do we invoke himD The certainty that the Master accompanies us is another conse(uence of the fact of the . & recall now our $ather's first pilgrimage to a Marian shrine Hto !onsoles in .ddress in a general audience . & suggest that in doing the May pilgrimage this year we unite ourselves closely to the intentions our $ounder continues to have in heaven.pus Kei.s long as we are awaiting the Lord's return when he will come to take full possession of his kingdom we cannot afford to rela+. .2-@ This month dedicated to Mary in many countries has always been an especially apostolic month in the Work. That persecution rather than slowing down the growth of the *hurch led to its spread beyond the confines of Jerusalem5 the *hurch took root in new places in new peoples including those who were not part of the people of &srael such as the -> %ope $rancis . We all have the e+perience that on returning afterwards to our daily life Hto our work to our familyI we take it up with a new interior strength which our Mother obtains for us to direct our life or redirect it to her !on Jesus. . -. "ow forcefully !t.s !t. We cannot remain inactive because our Lord has told us clearly FTrade till & come' H!k -. !preading the kingdom of #od isn't only an official task of those members of the *hurch who represent *hrist because they have received sacred powers from him.CE during which with so much faith he prayed for the *hurch for the %ope and for .ne who always defends us who defends us from the snares of the devil who defends us from ourselves and from our sins! . -@ !t. 1. 8 . John says in his $irst Letter he is our .dvocate: "ow beautiful it is to hear this! When someone is summoned by the 0udge or is involved in legal proceedings the first thing he does is to seek a lawyer to defend him.th the liturgy presents us with the solemnity of %entecost5 and on the following !unday the feast of the "oly Trinity.postle with a specific command to fulfill. Josemar:a Christ is $assing "y no. -/-. . The %araclete now as in the apostolic era and always in the life of the *hurch is the one who strengthens *hristians and gives them courage to announce Jesus everywhere.ur $ather taught us to make a pilgrimage to a shrine or church dedicated to our Lady accompanied if possible by a friend or companion of ours. .ur Lady of #uadalupe in -. great task awaits us.been removed from their sight Jesus stays with them forever5 he does not abandon them and in the glory of the $ather supports them guides them and intercedes for them. . Meditate on what happened after the death of !tephen the first martyr.-.scension which fills us with peace and 0oy.:-8I.vila: tomorrow is its anniversaryI and the unforgettable novena to . cts @:-. e+cept the apostles. Josemar:a stressed this when writing about this feast: 1. We have . peace and a 0oy that we need to communicate to others to all those around us and especially to those who are suffering Hperhaps without fully realiAing itI because they are distant from #od.cts says succinctlyI a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem) and they were all scattered throughout the region of Judea and *amaria.bid. "e is our support and our strength our older brother our most intimate friend who will never abandon us especially in moments of tribulation or struggle.

4ntrust to her in a special way the new priests of the Work who will receive priestly ordination on the 9th of May so that they be Has our $ather wantedI 1holy learned cheerful and with a sporting spirit in the spiritual field. . .sk the Mother of the *hurch to obtain from the Blessed Trinity for the entire *hurch and for this small 1portion2 of the *hurch that is the %relature many priests fully dedicated to their ministry. Let us go to our Lady without ceasing for all the needs of the *hurch and society. . .2/E This past month & made a (uick trip to Lebanon5 as always & counted on your help to spur forward the apostolic work of the faithful of the %relature in that beloved country a crossroads in the Middle 4ast. 9 .ccompanied by each and every one of you & prayed before our Lady of Lebanon in the shrine of "arissa asking especially for peace in that whole region and in the rest of the world.!amaritans.2 With all my affection & bless you Jour $ather M Javier <ome May . !omething similar happened to !t. %aul .m & helped to be daring by the realiAation that the risen Jesus is walking with me on all the paths of my ordinary lifeD Ko & go fre(uently to the Tabernacle to ask for greater piety in dealing with "im and with his Blessed MotherD Let us listen to the (uestions that %ope $rancis asks us: 1Jou & do we worship the LordD Ko we turn to #od only to ask him for things to thank him or do we also turn to him to worship himD . %aul during his apostolic trips. Worshipping the Lord means giving him the place that he must have5 worshipping the Lord means stating believing)not only by our words)that he alone truly guides our lives./E-8 /E %ope $rancis "omily in the Basilica of !t. This is the attitude that our Mother teaches us on the feast of the Lisitation on the last day of this month: fostering at every moment the disposition to serve others in every circumstances that may arise as Mary served her cousin 4liAabeth.pril -9 /E-8. %resent to our Lady my intentions: there is nothing selfish about this petition since included there)among many other concerns)is your daily faithfulness marked by 0oy by perseverance by a hunger for personal holiness and apostolic Aeal.utside the Walls . &n considering these events recorded in the readings for 4aster time we should ask ourselves: Ko & give testimony to my faith in *hristD Ko & ask #od to increase in me this theological virtue together with hope and charity especially in this Jear of $aithD Ko & decisively overcome the fear of what others may think and other impediments that hold me back in my apostolic workD .