Friday, September 8, 2017

“Let the storm rage and the sky darken - not for that shall we be dismayed. If we trust as we should in Mary, we shall recognize in her, the Virgin Most Powerful ‘who with virginal foot did crush the head of the serpent’.”

"We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek - Jesus, her Son."--Saint Louis Marie de Montfort: (1673 – 1716: was a French Roman Catholic priest and Confessor)

Gospel Text: (MT 1:18-23)
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
"Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means "God is with us."

The story is told about a priest who had the opportunity to visit Mother Teresa of Calcutta often. This priest was 6'1" in height, and one time, on returning again to Calcutta and seeing Mother Teresa, who was about 4'8", he said to her, "You know, Mother, I think you grow smaller every time I see you." Mother Teresa said in response, "Yes, one has to grow very small indeed to fit into the Sacred Heart of Jesus."

This is why we are in this world: to grow into the sacred heart of Jesus. Today we celebrate the birthday of Mary. We have heard in the Gospel about the family tree of Jesus. There were some great figures in Jesus' family tree, like King David. But most of the people in Jesus' family were very ordinary. Maybe the most ordinary was Mary.

That might seem strange to say, because we might want to say that Mary was the most extraordinary. Of course, Mary was the most holy of Jesus' ancestors: she was the only person to come before Jesus who had never sinned. But still, at the same time, Mary was really the most ordinary person to come before Jesus.

If you were to walk down a busy street in a large city, and Mary walked by you, you probably would never recognize her. That's because Mary lived out the Gospel so fully. She lived out the Gospel even before Jesus became a human being. It's because Mary lived out the Gospel so completely that Jesus became a human being. But living out the Gospel is really very simple, very quiet, and very ordinary. It doesn't mean being famous, or looking for attention from others, or wanting to be better than everyone else around you.

Living the Gospel means: listening for God's voice every day, letting his Will for my life sink into my heart, and carrying that out with love. This is a very simple thing, but this is how we grow small, and enter into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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