Recognize Your Incapacity

Another noteworthy detail in the Annunciation is Mary’s  recognition of her virginity when

informed by the angel of God’s plan. Mary said, “How can this be for I am a virgin?”

Some people see this as Mary’s lack of confidence in the power of God. But I think otherwise.

It was precisely because she saw herself as a virgin that she was able to see the

evidence of God’s power.

A virgin has no capacity to produce life on her own. Only through her cooperation

with another force can she bring forth life. Because Mary recognized her incapacity–the

impossibility of doing things on her own– the benevolence of God was highlighted.

God’s love, might ,mercy and holiness truly come to the surface. Hence, virginity

must become part of our attitude as Christian devotees of our Blessed Mother. Such

persons who have it can really manifest the magnanimity of God.

 

Be Lowly and Poor in Spirit

Mary professed her fiat. She gave her consent. And at very moment she conceived by the Holy power of the Spirit.

So she was already with child when she  went in haste to visit her cousin who was  six months pregnant.

The moment they met they proclaimed their praise to God’s wondrous works.

This is the event of the Visitation.

Mary looked at herself and saw a handmaid – she saw how lowly she was.

Then Mary looked at God and proclaimed Him “mighty.”

In her lowliness, she was able to see the magnificence of God.

She proclaimed God’s tremendous deeds.

The poor are really blessed with the gift of “life”- their worship is highly spirited

When one is  “lowly” and humble or poor in spirit, he will praise God even for the small miracles in his life.

Every blessing becomes an occasion of praising.

Only when one humbles himself can be able to see the greatness of the things that God performs in his life.

And this is where the poor really rank high.Thus, they are truly blessed.

Mary really identified herself with the poor, being an ‘anawin’ herself.

And lowly disposition opened her mouth to utter words of genuine praise to God.

In Matthew 19, Jesus’ exhortation to the rich young man was received with a sad heart prompting

Jesus to say that it is easier or a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the

Kingdom of God (Matthew 19:24). This is a powerful image Jesus used here.

It is tantamount to saying that it is impossible for a person with much wealth to enter heaven.

In Luke 1, Mary prophesied about how the hungry shall be filled with good things and the rich shall be driven away empty handed (v.53).

In Like 6, Jesus said quite strongly, “Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation” (v. 24)

The rich will remain an object of our faith’s disfavor unless they find the blessedness of becoming poor in spirit.

Real satisfaction will only come to them if, like Mary, they are able to yield to the greater power of God,

humble themselves before Him and offer Him the most sincere prayer of praise and thanks.

 

GOD’S NEW WORLD ORDER

Mary’s  hymn is also a prophetic song. It contains what God intends to do to His people.

Mary prophesied in that song the new world order that God establish – about a world where the Christian Ideas reign. William Barclay describes it this way : ” A Christian society is a society where no man dares to have too  much while others have too little, where every man must get only to give away. ” Mary spoke against the prevailing world order where lack of justice and equality was commonplace.

Christian must aspire to become prophets, like Mary, who can dare to speak against the evils of the world  and act to, eliminate them. Today’s world needs prophets who can pro test against humanity’s inclination to acquire and possess; against all the hunger in the world brought about by man’s own doing or lack of it, against man’s insensitivity to the plight of the poor.

We also needs prophets who can instill fear – the ” fear of being driven away empty – handed” because of their evil appetite that which belongs to others . We need them to speak against man’s desire for money and things, for power and recognition.

We need prophets who can speak of the beauty and grandeur of God’s reign and invite people to participate in it. We need prophets who can speak against humanity’s foolishness of satiating their human desires with the ephemeral things rather than with what God provides. We need prophets who can speak against humanity’s own folly of thinking that we are self-made men and women and that we can still move on with our lives without the help of God.

THE GLORY OF GOD

In the month of  January  we celebrate three important feasts which present three different aspects of the mission of jesus: the glory of God! the three feast are : 1) The Virgin Mary mother of God, 2) The Epiphany, 3) The baptism of Jesus Christ.

In 1930 Pope Pius XI established the feast of the “Virgin Mary Mother of God” This title is audacious :  woman is a Mother of God! How it is possible? We are creatures, how can a human creature become the mother of God? Some theologians in the Council of Ephesus said that we can understand that a Virgin Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ but not the Mother of God. In spite of this objection, the Council kept this title and proclaimed the Virgin Mary Mother of God and wanted to reveal what God has done for us. God did not remain closed in himself:  he came out from himself and united himself so radically with this man ,Jesus, that this man Jesus is  God and when we speak about Jesus we speak about God.He was not born only as a man who had relation with God, but in him God was born in the world. God came out from himself. But we can see also the opposite: God attracted us to himself, so that we are not any more  outside of God but we are in intimacy with God, we are in God Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God wanted to be born in a woman and at the same time to remain God! This is the great event. The Virgin Mary is Mother of God and Mother of the Church because she is the Mother of the One who came to reunite all of us-through the cross- in His Body dead and resurrected.

The glory of God “appeared” in Jesus Christ but he is hidden in the womb of the Virgin Mary. So, what is the meaning of this “glory”?

In the Epiphany is another revelation of  the glory of God. We read in the gospel of ST. Matthew: “Some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east … going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold, franckincense and myrrh” (2:1-12).

In the Baptism of the Lord we have a solemn revelation of the glory of God through the voice of God the Father himself and the witness of the Holy Spirit! “No sooner had he come up out of water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him. And a voice came from heaven, : You are my son, the Beloved; my favor rests on you” (Mark 1:7-11). But, what is the meaning  of this “glory” ?

Normally we think that “glory” means human honor, frankincense, applauses, etc.The preface of the epiphany says: “Your Spirit was seen as a dove, revealing Jesus as your servant”. This is the glory of God: to be the servant of humanity! Therefore “glory’ is equal to “love”. It is for his love to humanity that he became incarnate in the womb of the Virgin Mary, he revealed himself to the three wise men, he accepted to be considered a sinner in need of the baptism. He was “sent to bring the poor the good news of salvation”. In Christianity, glory means to serve and to serve with love. This is our Christian vocation.

Solemnity of the Heart of JESUS

In July, we celebrate a solemnity which reveals to us the deep reason why the Son of God became man and suffered passion and death: the solemnity of the Heart of Jesus.in the Liturgy we celebrate the mysteries of our redemption but at the same time Liturgy wants to help us to understand more the meaning of these mysteries. To use water,oil,ashes,etc. has a purpose in explaining to us in a clear way what we are celebrating. It is the same time for the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Liturgy wants to reveal to us once again the love of God. Even in our normal life, for example, when a man wants to express his love to his wife he tells her: I love you with all my heart!

Jesus wants to tell us that God love’s us with all His heart! Liturgy adopted this human way of expressing  love and established the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Of course, this is not the only occasion to meditate on God’s love for us: Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and other solemnities or feast to us openly about the love of God. But with the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Liturgy wants to introduce to us the love of God using this human symbol: the heart!

Jesus also used this expression when he said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul” (Mt 11:28-29). Jesus is gentle and humble, so when we are suffering for any reason we can always find rest in Him.

Let us ask ourselves: does God love us because we love him? Is His love for us the consequence of our prayers and good life? In his first letter St. John teaches us that it is the opposite: “In this love: not that we have loved God,  but he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (Jn 4″10). God loved us first and our love for him is only a fruit of his grace, of his love and mercy.

St.John invites us to accept this love of God not only passively, by accepting that he loves us, but actively, by loving our brothers:”Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another”(1Jn 4:11). Perhaps for us it is more normal to say: “Since God loved us, let us love him in return!” No, St John says that we have to love one another if we want to be actively in the love of God. “If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us…God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him” (1Jn 4: 12-16).

We have to recognize that we cannot love either God or our Brothers if we are not supported by Him. it is only out of His mercy that he gives us the grace to love Him and our neighbor:”By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us his Spirit” (Jn 4:13).

Once again we have to invoke the Holy Spirit: “Come Holy Spirit, come in us, enable us to know the love of God for me personally, for my family, for us all, and enable me, enable my family, enable all of us to love one another, so that we may be recognized as disciples of Jesus and the children of God our Father”.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgen Mary

RV.11:19,12:1-6,10

19 Then the sanctuary of God in the

heavens was opened,and the Ark of

the Covenant of God could be seen

inside the sanctuary.There were

flashes of lightning, peals of thunder,

an earthquake and a violent hailstorm.

12:1-6

1 A great sign appeared in heaven:

a woman, clothed with the sun,

with the with the moon under her feet

and a crown of twelve stars on her

head,2 She was pregnant and cried out

in pain,looking to her time of delivery.

3 Then another sign appeared:a

huge,red dragon with seven heads and

ten horns and wearing seven crowns on

its heads. 4 It had just swept along a

third of the stars of heaven with its tail,

throwing them down to the earth.

The dragon stood in front of the

woman who was about to give birth,so

that it might devour the child as soon

as it was born. 5 She gave birth, to a

male child,the one who is to rule all the

nations with an iron scepter; then her

child was seized and taken up to God

and to his throne 6 while the woman fled

to the desert where God had prepared a

place for her; there she would be

looked after for one thousand two hun-

dred and sixty days.