Thursday, August 18, 2011

So do you spend time with Mary, Your Mother??

Do you spend time with Mary, your mother.  In this busy world of ours rarely to we take the time to spend anytime in silence.  Barely is there anytime to spend with Jesus let alone with His, our mother.  Do we ever ask Mary's intercession, call out to her in our times of distress, ask her to intercede on our behalf before her Son.  The Gospel tells us that Mary is there to intercede for us just as she did at Cana.


On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there;
Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples.

When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him,
"They have no wine."
And Jesus said to her,
"O woman, what have you to do with me?
My hour has not yet come."
His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Now six stone jars were standing there,
for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.
Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water."
And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them,
"Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast."

So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now."
Gospel of John 2:1-10

Jesus gave us His mother at the foot of the cross as our own mother, to treat as we would our own mother, to honor and venerate as is proper and also to ask for aid when we are in need.

"When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"  Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."

John 19:26-27
The Catechism echoes this:

CCC 964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son." 

In our world where we seek to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and often stumble, fall, and  are brought low by the troubles in this world.  Realizing that our reliance cannot be on ourselves but on Jesus and His Mother who was given to us as our Mother to help us when we cannot help ourselves.  
In this loud, some would say obnoxious world, silence is something that is far and few between.  Media of all kinds has taken over our lives.  A person cannot live without Internet or their cell phone but they can live without going to daily Mass and receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This bread of eternal life that nourishes more than anything else can is something that we rely on the least.  

Pope Benedict XVI encourages this over and over.  Most recently in his last Wednesday audience:
"Mary teaches us how necessary it is to find in our days, with all of its activities, moments to gather our thoughts in silence and meditate on what the Lord wants to teach us, on how he is present and acts in the world and in our life...meditation involves creating in ourselves a situation of contemplation, of interior silence, to reflect, to assimilate the mysteries of our faith and what God operates in us; and not just the things that come and go."

Mary mediates God's grace to us through her Son Jesus Christ,

And so the challenge is to take time out of your day, spend a few moments with Mary.  Have her help you, lead you to her Son.
This website can help you in that, every time you get online spend this one minute with Mary

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life our sweetness and our hope.  To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
V-  Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God
R-  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY: O God, by the life, death and resurrection of Your only begotten Son, You purchased for us the rewards of eternal life; grant, we beseech You that while meditation on these mysteries of the Holy rosary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

May all of us grow closer to our Mother Mary

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meditation on Luke 1:26-38 - The Annunciation

A while ago I was at a workshop for Lectio Divina or the prayer for reading of Sacred Scripture and one of the scriptures they had us practice on was Luke 1:26-38, the Annunciation.  As I was reading the passage and reflecting on it, I realized just how much of an amazing and yet fearful moment that had to be.  How would you act if an angel visited you with a message from God?  What would your response be?  I would like to think my response would be that of Mary’s. 

"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.  And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.  And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."  And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"   And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.  And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.  For with God nothing will be impossible."  And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her."  Luke 1:26-38

There are such profound phrases that are said by both the Angel and Mary.  “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Lk. 1:32)  I fall silent at this verse, how must it have felt to hear those words?  Not only are you a virgin and you will bear a son but He will be the Son of the Most High…“His kingdom will have no end.”  Words fail you at this moment and this great pronouncement, how long I wonder was there a pause by Mary as she digested this information just given to her.  I cannot even imagine what might have gone through her mind; I would be thinking what is going on here.  Her simple response, wait a minute how can this be since I have no husband?
After this question another profound revelation is given.  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Lk. 1:34)  How beautiful, words cannot describe how this must have felt.  However when you think about it, the Holy Spirit is with all of us.  We receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit when we receive the Sacraments.  How great of a gift this is that I take for granted every day.  The Holy Spirit overshadows all we do, provides help for us in all that we do, all we need to do is ask.  How great a gift that is taken for granted by so many today. 
Many times we try to limit God, fit Him into our mold, and bring God down to a more manageable level.  But in the Annunciation we hear the simple words, “For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Lk. 1:37)  How many people think that God can’t help them, that they are too far gone, there is nothing that can be done for them.  To that I give them the above statement, God can work with anyone, about anything, anytime He wants.  God is God and there is no limit to His love for us.  God is love, an eternal communication of persons in love.  Nothing is beyond God.  I feel like we should hear this statement at the start of every day.  When we feel as though our daily struggles are insurmountable, the daily grind impossible, thinking that how can God be in this, we must think those words, that nothing is impossible for God.  God can top every mountain, cross every river and support your feet as you walk His path on earth.
Lastly, some of the simplest words ever spoken are the most earth shattering, words that should be the first out of our mouth every day in prayer.  “And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."” (Lk. 1:38)  With these words “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.” (Jn 1:14)  With the Incarnation the world changed forever, God reached down to.  We became “partakers in the divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:4)  “God became man so man could become God.” (St. Athanasius)  The world has been changed forever with those simple words.
I would like to think that my reaction would have been the same, that at that moment my words would have been the same Mary’s.  I pray that through the intercession of Mary on this the Feast of her Assumption into heaven that I become more like her, the perfect disciple who was there at the moment of conception at the moment of His crucifixion.  Let us also pray for the respect of life from conception to natural death.

Father in heaven,
all creation rightly gives you praise,
for all life and all holiness come from you.
In the plan of your wisdom
she who bore the Christ in her womb
was raised body and soul in glory to be with him in heaven.
May we follow her example in reflecting your holiness
and join in her hymn of endless love and praise.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.