At the end of the Easter season, the Church celebrates a series of feasts beginning with Pentecost, and moving into Ordinary Time with Trinity Sunday and then the feast of Corpus Christi (the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ) the following week. After that, today is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which commemorates Christ’s love for humanity through his Most Sacred Heart, which was pierced with a soldier’s lance. Tomorrow the Church remembers the Mother of Our Lord and God, with the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This Year, the series of post-Easter feasts will conclude with the feast of the Holy Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul, upon whom the foundation of the Church of Rome was built, and from whom, through Apostolic Succession, our faith is handed down through the generations to us as Jesus Christ gave it to them.
As the liturgical calendar of the Church moves deeper into what we call Ordinary Time, we begin that season by celebrating feasts that recall the most fundamental beliefs about the nature of God (that God is Triune, One God in three Divine Persons), that when we receive the Holy Eucharist we are receiving Jesus Christ really, actually, and truly present-Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, and that the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is so perfect that all of humanity can seek God’s mercy through the sacrifice that Christ made for them. The Heart of Jesus is Divine, because Jesus is God. Tomorrow we remember the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Mother of God. On Sunday, we remember the two greatest of the Twelve Apostles, and the apostles were the witnesses of Christ’s resurrection who have left us the Church built upon the foundation of their teaching with Christ himself as the cornerstone (cf. Ephesians 2:19-21). These feasts together tell us of the Triune God who gives us his Body and Blood, sacrificing himself for our redemption, open to all through the mercy of his Sacred Heart and the intercession of his loving Mother who, like him, loves all of us. We can receive this mercy in the Church, the family of God, led by the apostles and their successors. In 2014, then, we’ve begun Ordinary Time with the Church giving us a series of feasts that seem to unpack everything major about salvation and redemption in the New Testament into a few feast days capped off with Sts. Peter and Paul (martyrs), as though the Church is trying to tell us “hey, this Paschal Mystery thing we just finished celebrating for 50 days, go forth and make it the very center of everything about your life.”
In other words, we’ve celebrated the mystery of Christ’s coming, his Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, and now we have to daily live out what that mystery means before the world. That is what Christ means for us when he says “go and make disciples.”