We have just completed two essential seasons of the Roman Liturgical calendar – Lent and Easter. It was indeed a journey of spiritual awakening for many of us, as we made every effort to deepen our faith. Along the way, many may have felt exhausted and wanted to give up their journey. However, God has empowered us with His strength and grace to continue this journey. Despite all the challenges, He has made us realise that “it is no longer I but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2: 20) and has given us the spirit of perseverance and courage.
Now we are in the liturgical calendar of Week in Ordinary Time. We began with the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. This feast was established in the liturgical calendar by Pope Francis in 2018, to be celebrated every year on the Monday following Pentecost. This season of Ordinary Time is the longest of the Church’s liturgical season and it will continue until Advent begins, on the last Sunday of November 2022. Everything will eventually go back to normal after our Parish novena and Feast Day of St Thomas, the Apostle on 3 July 2022. So, how can we do something extraordinary during this Ordinary Time?
On Wednesday, 11 May 2022 Pope Francis’ general audience highlighted the “Catechesis on Old Age” and how to live more significantly and fruitfully during retirement by leaving “a legacy of good, rather than just goods.” Although he was primarily addressing retirees, it is also a reminder to all the young people, to serve the Lord in holiness all the days of our lives. As we carry out the mission of the Lord, it is “a time to leave a good legacy of wisdom, tenderness and gifts for the family and community,” in which we serve.
Every one of us often “thinks of goods, and not of goodness”, even though goodness is essentially the best legacy that we can leave behind for our future generation. The Holy Father has highlighted a biblical example of Judith, who lived for more than 100 years. He encouraged us to look at the Book of Judith and get to know this courageous woman who lived her life “with tenderness and generosity. She was a worthy woman who showed heroism through her faith. In her retirement, she continued to dedicate her time to her family and community through her charitable works”.
It is good for all of us to spend our time wisely and prudently. As we carry out our daily commitments, we strive to grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding and pray that God may “teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart” (cf. Psalm 90: 12).
During the Wednesday audience, Pope Francis was unable to stand to pray the Our Father. He also apologised to the public for not being able to stand to greet the pilgrims while giving his traditional blessings, due to chronic pain in his knee. We pray for the Holy Father - who is now 85-years-old - for his good health and continued guidance of our Most Holy Church.