Everyone knows that the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven forty days after He rose from the dead. And everyone knows that, as He prepared to ascend, Christ commanded His disciples to pray. Thus began the original Novena—nine days of prayer before Pentecost.
Everyone knows these things, of course. So there’s no sense in dwelling on the fact that no one knows when we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension anymore.
Let’s focus on the bright side. Since today isn’t the Solemnity of the Ascension (even though it is), we get to keep the Feast of St. Matthias this year!
And the Feast of St. Matthias holds special significance for the most exquisite of all sufferers, the most rarefied of all white martyrs, Washington-Capitals fans.
Because May 14 is almost always the day after the Caps get knocked out of the playoffs by either the New York Rangers or the Pittsburgh Penguins.*
The apostolate involves suffering. As St. Paul put it, those who proclaim Christ go like sheep to the slaughter. Our reward does not come in this present life, fleeting as it is, but in the great and mysterious life to come.
St. Matthias received his vocation as an apostle during the original Novena between Ascension and Pentecost. He struggled to mortify himself and his fleshly desires. For this reason, people struggling with alcoholism have revered St. Matthias as a patron. St. Matthias attained his reward when he was stoned to death by cannibals.
May his holy prayers help us to keep these days especially holy.
* May 13, 2015: Caps knocked-out by Rangers. May 13, 2013: Caps knocked-out by Rangers. May 12, 2012: Caps knocked-out by Rangers. May 13, 2009: Caps knocked-out by Penguins.