We are now in that very important period of time between the Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven, and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. According to the Scripture, nine days elapsed between the two events, and during that time, the apostles gathered with Our Lady in the upper room of Jerusalem along with a number of other disciples, so that the entire group numbered about 120. Our Lord had instructed them to wait and pray for the coming of the Spirit, and this they did as he commanded. For this reason, it became customary in the Church to spend nine days of prayer for any important event, and thus the concept of a NOVENA came into being, NOVEM being the Latin word for NINE. So right now, we are within that period of NOVENA, preparing ourselves for our annual celebration of the great solemnity of Pentecost. And speaking of numbers, the Greek word PENTE means FIFTY and it is ordinarily FIFTY days after Easter.
Let us try to spend this week spiritually united with the group of 120 in the upper room. I have no doubt that they took advantage of Our Lady’s presence among them, asking her questions, listening to her beautiful reminiscences about the early life of Jesus, getting her insights and explanations of all the sacred mysteries. She taught the child Jesus; now she teaches the ones whom he loved and who loved him.
One of the titles that we apply to the Mother of our Lord is “Seat of Wisdom,” meaning the profound understanding that she possesses of all sacred things. The concept of “seat” means the teaching office of a professor; it comes to us in modern speech as “see,” as in the Holy See, or the word “see” used to mean a diocese: the see of Galveston-Houston; the see of New York, etc. So we have the opportunity this week to ask Our Lady, the Seat of Wisdom, to help us understand the elements of our holy faith more clearly and incorporate them more actively in our spiritual life. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.