SOLEMNITY OF THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD – MAY 16, 2021

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.

TODAY’S MASS INTENTION: Christina Martin Goda, by Jánossy Family

MASS INTENTIONS  FOR THE COMING WEEK:

May22Saturday9:00 AMTraditional Latin Mass
May23Sunday9:00 AMMaria Spisak, by Mary Spisak

FROM THE DESK OF FR. BONA: We are all familiar with the Ascension Thursday. According to the Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven on the 40th day after Easter. Since around 350, for more than the millennium and half, the Church has been celebrating this event on the Thursday of the sixth week of Easter, which is the 40th day after Easter. The number 40 is a highly symbolic number. It is a number that denotes preparation, purification (e.g., the flood at Noah’s time kept coming for 40 days; the People of Israel wandered for 40 years in the desert before entering the Promised Land; Moses, Elijah and Jesus fasted 40 days and nights in the desert; 40 days of Lent). However, the tradition of Ascension Thursday was weakened in 1969 when the Church allowed different ecclesial jurisdictions (with permission) to move the Solemnity of Ascension (and Epiphany and Corpus Christi as well) to a nearest Sunday (if it is not to be a Holy Day of obligation). Several countries began this process of moving the solemnity. In US, in 1998, the bishops reached a decision that each ecclesiastical province can make decision on this matter. Consequently, some provinces have decided to keep it and some moved it to Sunday. Today only the provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Omaha have Ascension Thursday, the rest of US (along with the Ohio Province) has moved it to Sunday.

With Ascension Sundays, however, the numeric significance of 40 is broken up (as we celebrate the Ascension on the 43rd day after Easter) and the novena to the Holy Spirit becomes a little muddy. After the Ascension of Jesus, the apostles (and some other disciples) along with the Blessed Mother stayed in Jerusalem and prayed for nine days as they waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit. It is from this event that we have the custom of novenas (nine days of prayer). This original novena is esteemed by the Church so much that it now enjoys an official recognition: General Norms of the Liturgical Year and Calendar (n. 26) elevated the Pentecost novena as liturgical when it declared: “The weekdays after the Ascension until the Saturday before Pentecost inclusive are a preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit;” and The Directory of Popular Piety and the Liturgy (n. 155) said: “the pious exercise of the Pentecost novena, widely practiced among the faithful, emerged from prayerful reflection on this salvific event.” However, with Ascension Sunday the time between the aforementioned feasts is shortened to six days and no longer coincides with the original nine days. Therefore, because of the strong tradition of nine days, it is a custom to begin to pray the novena to the Holy Spirit on the second Friday before Pentecost (9th day before Pentecost) irrespective of when the Ascension is celebrated. Let us take advantage of this special time and pray to the Holy Spirit to increase in holiness. God bless, Fr. Bona

IMPORTANT NEWS: with the improving situation concerning the health pandemic, the bishops of Ohio have decided to reinstate the general obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation (Code of Canon Law, c. 1247). This will take effect in each of the Dioceses of Ohio the weekend of June 5-6, 2021. To read the letter with more explanation, please visit: Catholic Conference of Ohio (ohiocathconf.org)

LAST WEEKEND’S COLLECTION: THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY in supporting the parish. Thank you for sending in your offertory donation through the mail. I know the times may be difficult for many people. If you are able at this time to send in your offertory donations, please do so by mail or use the PayPal option found on the website: https://www.stelizabethcleveland.org/donations/

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK, especially, Jay Kovács, Kathy Szabó, Kamilla Szabó and Anna Melega.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE DECEASED, especially for Olga Centivany who died on May 8, 2021. Her funeral will be here on Wednesday, May 19 at 11 AM.

PLEASE NOTE — THE COVID 19 DIRECTIVES are still in effect. THIS SUNDAY the 11:15 AM Mass (St. Emeric) is livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/saintemeric/ and on the website, https://stemeric.com/

This post is also available in: Hungarian

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