Objective of the week:
TO walk with Mary with this zeal in giving life to a wounded church.
We look at Mother Mary this week and how she is full of the same missionary zeal for the fullness of life in the church of today and in the world. As Mary was the first recipient of the Good News at the Annunciation before she brought the same Good News to Elizabeth at her Visitation and to the rest of the world at the Nativity of her Son, so is the Church also called first to be an evangelized and an evangelizing community. At the foot of the cross, Christ entrusted the Church and its mission to the care of his Mother: “Woman, here is your son” (John 19:26-27). “Mary is the Mother of the Church which evangelizes and without her, we could never truly understand the spirit of the new evangelization.” (IEC Theological Symposium Basic Text p. 42)
She is the model of the church in its mission of evangelization because of how she closely cooperated in the saving work of her Son and because she exemplifies the missionary journey that the Church has taken and continues to take.
Like Mary, the Mother of the Lord and the mother of all who follow her Son, we are invited to give our “Fiat” our surrender of love, our “yes” to the God of love and allow Him to be spiritually formed within us.
My Father’s Glory
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)
Mary said yes to the invitation to love. She became a fruitful woman, a “God-bearer” or “Mother of God”. It is also God’s invitation to bear the fruit of our surrendered love to the living God. We were made to give ourselves away to the Lord, in Him and for others. Our lives, with all of the blessings and pain, can be with meaning, purpose and destiny.
“Christ in You, our Hope of Glory.” (Colossians 1: 27) reminds us of the need to, totally surrender to Jesus as that of Mary’s surrender in order to glorify God. In this year of mercy, We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking Him to pour out His mercy upon us like the morning dew, so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future.” (Misericordiae Vultus 15) Do you accept this invitation? What fruits have you been bearing in order to glorify God?
Mary Visits Elizabeth
“36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed isshe who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
At the Visitation, Mary bore in her womb the WORD made flesh. She became a “tabernacle” in which the Son of God allowed Himself to be adored by Elizabeth. Jesus radiated his light through Mary’s eyes and voice. Elizabeth, moved by the Spirit, gives us the first beatitude in the Gospel directed at Mary: “Blessed are you because you believed.” (Luke 1:45)
Mary can guide us toward this holy sacrament (of the Eucharist) because she herself has a profound relationship with the Eucharist. Like, our Lady, is your relationship with the Eucharist (Jesus) guiding others in the path to holiness? How do you guide the lost sheep?
Jesus changes Water to Wine
“2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, ‘They have no wine.’4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.” (John 2: 1-12)
“Do whatever He tells you.” (John 2:5) is Mary’s invitation to obey Christ without hesitation. Mary wants us to trust in the words of her Son. “Do this in memory of me” as Jesus says in the Last Supper. As Jesus changed the water into wine, HE turns the bread of life “Accept this invitation to conversion and submit oneself to justice during this special time of mercy offered by the church.” (Miscericordiae Vultus 15) Consider Pope Francis’ wish: Dedicate oneself “to living constantly extends to all of us.” (Miscericordiae Vultus 15)
Knowing the reality, Mary went immediately to Jesus; She walks with Him in His missionary journeys. Are you still walking with Jesus? Do you help Him in His work in the mission? Do you do whatever He tells you?
I have come to give life
“10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
“The missionary zeal of God and ours is that man be fully alive>’ (St. Irenaeus) The mission of Jesus continues for all who see His presence and hear is loving WORDS ---- it continues through His body, the Church. We are welcomed into the Church and then sent on mission. IF we live our life by a continuous encounter with the God of Love, as Mary did, we will find in this year of mercy and be “Merciful like the Father.” Mercy, eliminate every form of close-mindedness and disrespect and drive out every form of violence and discrimination.” (Misericordiae Vultus 15) Like Jesus, give life by doing the works of corporal and spiritual mercy this Lent.
Woman, here is your SON
“26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” (John 19: 26-27)
From the Annunciation to the Cross, Mary is the one who received the Word, made flesh within her and then silenced on earth. It is she, lastly, who took into her arms the lifeless body of the one who truly loved his own to the end.
Every time we approach the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist liturgy, we also turn to her who, by her complete fidelity received Christ’s sacrifice for our commitment to be conformed to Christ, allowing her to accompany us. She is present with the Church, at each of our celebrating of the Eucharist. We and rivals ---- we are brothers.
As you have accepted Mary to be your Mother and model in following Jesus, how do you bring others to Christ? Have you heeded to Jesus’ call to form apostles?
Mary pondered them in her heart
“19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
(Luke 2: 19)
When you heed the invitation to give honor, glory and praise to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, Mary holds you in her heart. She treasures & reflects in the love you give to her Son. Mary wants to keep you forever in her Immaculate Heart, guiding you to her Son in the Blessed Sacrament. Are you asking Mary daily to draw you closer to Jesus?
3rd Sunday of Lent
1st Reading: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.