This following excerpt is from the Apostolic letter, “Tertio Millennio Adveniente,” written by Pope John Paul II for the Jubilee of the year 2000.
15. In the lives of individuals, Jubilees are usually connected with the date of birth; but other anniversaries are also celebrated, such as those of Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion, Priestly or Episcopal Ordination, and the Sacrament of Marriage. Some of these anniversaries have parallels in the secular world, but Christians always give them a religious character. In fact, in the Christian view, every Jubilee—the twenty-fifth of Marriage or Priesthood, known as “silver”, the fiftieth, known as “golden”, or the sixtieth, known as “diamond”—is a particular year of favour for the individual who has received one or other of the Sacraments. What we have said about individuals with regard to jubilees can also be applied to communities or institutions. Thus we celebrate the centenary or the millennium of the foundation of a town or city. In the Church, we celebrate the jubilees of parishes and dioceses. All these personal and community Jubilees have an important and significant role in the lives of individuals and communities.
It is clear reading the above that the Church celebrates special Jubilee times for all as well as for individuals. Mother Church is a wonderful example to us.
Recently our friends on The Lord’s Ranch celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. They invited their family and friends to come out for a special Mass and for a reception afterwards. It was a beautiful celebration in which they renewed their marriage vows to each other. At the end of the Mass the priest referred to the above statement by St. John Paul II. Father shared how it is important to celebrate milestones in our lives including birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. These are times of Jubilee – a particular time of favour.
Jubilee speaks of joy and celebration
Our community is pretty good at this. It seems like there is often a birthday party, a baby shower, an anniversary, etc. We celebrate the gift of Life. We celebrate each other. We celebrate the milestones. When we come together to celebrate there is much joy, laughter, sharing, and good wholesome fun.
Here is a photo of Fr. Thomas pushing my 3 month old daughter in her stroller. We were celebrating his 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood that day. He was very happy as you can see by his face. Now that he has passed away, I am so happy and grateful that we celebrated that special anniversary for him and with him.
So as we continue in life, which is at times busy and difficult, let us remember to remember those special milestones in life — for the joy is the Lord is our strength!
Mary Ann / Mother Hen