Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wherever He Goes

I heard a sound from heaven like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. They were singing what seemed to be a new hymn before the throne, before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been ransomed from the earth. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. Revelation 14:2-3,4B

He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” Luke 21:3-4

Almighty and ever-living God, today we honor the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose hidden life brings light and warmth to the Church in every place. Her presentation in the temple at Jerusalem reveals her as a temple where God truly lives among us. May Mary's example give us the strength to radiate that light and warmth to the Church and help us to be dwelling places of God's joyful presence on earth. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. (Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, CEO Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation)

Today the Church celebrates the memorial of the Presentation of Mary. The three feasts of the birthday of Our Lady, the holy Name of Mary and her Presentation in the Temple correspond in the Marian cycle with the first three feasts of the cycle of feasts of our Lord: namely, Christmas, the Holy Name of Jesus, and His Presentation in the Temple (February 2).[i]

As with Mary’s birth, we read of Mary’s presentation in the temple only in apocryphal literature. In what is recognized as an unhistorical account, the Protoevangelium of James tells us that Anna and Joachim offered Mary to God in the Temple when she was 3 years old. This was to carry out a promise made to God when Anna was still childless.[ii]

According to Franciscan Media: “Even though the feast has no basis in history, it stresses an important truth about Mary: From the beginning of her life, she was dedicated to God. She herself became a greater temple than any made by hands. God came to dwell in her in a marvelous manner and sanctified her for her unique role in God’s saving work. At the same time, the magnificence of Mary enriches her.”

Interesting that the Magisterium choose the Poor Widow’s Contribution for today’s Good News when we mark the Poor Virgin’s contribution.  In the cases of both women, we get inspired from the offer their entire livelihood to God.  They give their “ALL” to the church.  They truly are the “ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” The Lamb – or the Good Shephard in our case.

The purpose of last Sunday’s celebration to mark Christ the King of all the Universe.  The challenge of that Solemnity is to make Christ the King of our lives and life in the way Mary and the poor widow show.

What part of Mary can you bring to this day and this week?

  • Meditate on the mystery of Mary's temporary dwelling in the sanctuary of the Old Covenant as a preparation for the approaching season of Advent.

  • Locate the order of contemplative nuns closest to you and visit their monastery (you may want to request their prayers and you might consider supporting them financially).  In our case, one option is the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration in Washington, DC. (  They are the privileged souls who, by the grace of their vocation, are even here below dwellers in the house of the Lord. 

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