On the Saturday before the Solemnity of Pentecost the Church remembers those who were gathered in the upper room awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit. Gathered with them was the Mother of Jesus whom we venerate today as Our Lady of the Cenacle.
Of course, Mary already had an intimate knowledge of the Holy Spirit as she had encountered that same Spirit when she was overshadowed by the Spirit at the Annunciation of the birth of her Son. It is fitting, therefore, that she should be present when the Holy Spirit came among the apostles and disciples of her Son, waiting with them in prayer.
Now she lives with her Son in His Kingdom where she is still waiting. Now, however, she awaits the day on which Jesus will return with the gift of salvation for all his followers. As she did in the upper room with the apostles and disciples, she waits in prayer with us and keeps watch for that day.
She is the model of prayer and watching, the woman who models the sense of unity for which her Son prayed before he died.
Our Holy Father Pope Francis has declared that the Monday after Pentecost be designated as the Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church. So the great Solemnity of Pentecost is framed by memorials in honor of Mary who first accepted the Holy Spirit and who has been given to us as our Mother by her Son.
As we receive the Eucharist today, let us allow the gifts of the Holy Spirit to overshadow us so that our lives may be conformed to the will of God.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator