Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mary's Intercession

On the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the 11th of February, the Church prays:

“God of mercy, we celebrate the feast of Mary, the sinless Mother of God. May her prayers help us to rise above our human weakness ….”

Mary s is a powerful intercessor for us before the throne of God. Some people may object and say, but isn’t Christ the sole mediator for us before God? And we may answer: What if Jesus Christ decided to delegate some mediation to other people? Can anybody prevent him from doing so? Is there any passage in Sacred Scripture that says that he cannot do this? As a matter of fact, one of the primary tasks of the priest both in the Old and the New Testament is to offer sacrifice for the people. Sacrifice is both intercession and mediation. In the common priesthood of the faithful which all Christians enjoy by the virtue of Baptism, we are called to be intercessors for the whole Church and for the whole world. The Catholic Church teaches that in the work of intercession in the Communion of Saints, Mary is primus inter pares, first among equals. This is a special gift and honor bestowed to the Mother of the Son. And God is free to distribute his gifts the way he wants. Who can question him?

In the fifth Glorious Mystery of the holy Rosary, we meditate on the coronation of Mary as Queen. The fruit of this mystery is to ask God to increase our confidence in the power of Mary’s intercession.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Fruits of the Eucharist

Fruits of the Eucharist

On the feast of St. Scholastica, February 10, the Church prays in the Mass:

“God of mercy, we rejoice that on this feast of St. Scholastica you give us the bread of heaven. May it bring us pardon for our sins, health of body, your grace in this life and glory in heaven….”

If you want to know what the Church believes, listen to its prayers. This axiom is stated in the Latin as “Lex orandi, lex credenda.” It translates as the rule of prayer is the rule of faith. From the above prayer, we see what the Church believes are the fruits of the Eucharist. They are:

• Pardon of sins
• Health of body
• God’s favors
• Life eternal

Awesome! If this is true, why doesn’t everybody run to the Eucharist? In Isaiah 55: 1 – 3, God pleads with his people:

“All you who are thirsty,
come to the water!
You who have no money,
come, receive grain and eat;
Come, without paying and without cost,
drink wine and milk!
Why spend your money for what is not bread;
your wages for what fails to satisfy?
Heed me, and you shall eat well,
you shall delight in rich fare.
Come to me heedfully,
listen, that you may have life.
I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
the benefits assured to David.”

Why would people hear such a call and not run to the feast? Mystery!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Better Part

“Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:42)

The above scripture reminds me of another:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroys, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Matthew 7: 19-21)

The message to me is similar: Do not waste time with the transient. Go for that which is enduring and permanent. This is the “better part.”

Lord, teach me always to recognize the better part and to go for it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Questioning Jesus

“When he had gone into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable.” (Mark 7: 17)

The disciples frequently ask Jesus to explain parables to them. The disciple is expected to know more than the crowd. In private prayer and study, he should ask Jesus to explain his teachings to him.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Consecrate me in the truth

“Your word, O Lord is truth; make us holy in the truth.” (John 17: 17)

Thank you Father for your word. Consecrate me in the truth.

Monday, September 24, 2007

God's Supply System

“Oh, bless the Lord, my soul!
All creatures look to you
to give them food in due time.
When you give it to them, they gather it;
When you open your hand, they are filled with good things.” (Psalm 104: 1, 27, 28)

Early in 1999, I confided to my journal the following reflection on the above Psalm.
“In casa, I look to God to provide me food in due time. My coffee is finished and my tea will go by tomorrow. I have only $3. But I am not worried. In due time, my Father will come with fresh supplies. I will do nothing rash. When God gives to me, I gather it. When he opens his hands, I am filled with good things.

I noticed this pattern of God’s supply system chez MI. Sometimes the store was very low. Then prayer. In due time, God supplied and filled the house with good things: quaker oat, cornflakes, butter, milk, fruits, etc. I believe I should expect the same system of supply in casa. Christ said: Do not worry about what to eat or drink. Your Father already knows what you need and will supply in due season. If you miss an item or two for some time, remember that man does not live on bread alone. There is life for him in the word of God, in obedience and in patience.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Wages of Sin

“You are free to eat of all the trees in the garden. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you are not to eat; for, the day you eat of that, you are doomed to die.” (Genesis 2: 16-17)

From the very beginning, the consequence of disobedience to God was established as death. Spiritual death, death of a relationship with God is the result of a mortal sin. There is nothing that man dreads as much as death. By making death the consequence of grave disobedience, God shows the gravity of sin.