Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday, Lent II: "whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant"

"Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Mt 20:17-28 "The baptism of Jesus is on his part the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God's suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world". Already he is anticipating the "baptism" of his bloody death. Already he is coming to "fulfill all righteousness", that is, he is submitting himself entirely to his Father's will: out of love he consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. The Father's voice responds to the Son's acceptance, proclaiming his entire delight in his Son. The Spirit whom Jesus possessed in fullness from his conception comes to "rest on him". Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for all mankind. At his baptism "the heavens were opened" - the heavens that Adam's sin had closed - and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation." - CCC 536

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Our Lady of Lourdes: "be glad because of her"

... all you who love her."
-- Isaiah 66:10-14c

This twofold movement of prayer to Mary has found a privileged expression in the Ave Maria:

Hail Mary [or Rejoice, Mary]: the greeting of the angel Gabriel opens this prayer. It is God himself who, through his angel as intermediary, greets Mary. Our prayer dares to take up this greeting to Mary with the regard God had for the lowliness of his humble servant and to exult in the joy he finds in her.

Full of grace, the Lord is with thee: These two phrases of the angel's greeting shed light on one another. Mary is full of grace because the Lord is with her. The grace with which she is filled is the presence of him who is the source of all grace. "Rejoice . . . O Daughter of Jerusalem . . . the Lord your God is in your midst." Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells. She is "the dwelling of God . . . with men." Full of grace, Mary is wholly given over to him who has come to dwell in her and whom she is about to give to the world.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. After the angel's greeting, we make Elizabeth's greeting our own. "Filled with the Holy Spirit," Elizabeth is the first in the long succession of generations who have called Mary "blessed." "Blessed is she who believed. . . . " Mary is "blessed among women" because she believed in the fulfillment of the Lord's word. Abraham. because of his faith, became a blessing for all the nations of the earth. Mary, because of her faith, became the mother of believers, through whom all nations of the earth receive him who is God's own blessing: Jesus, the "fruit of thy womb."
-- CCC 2676

Monday, January 5, 2015

Saint John Neumann: "We receive from him whatever we ask"

because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us."

- 1 John 3

"The Ten Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbor. The first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor. As charity comprises the two commandments to which the Lord related the whole Law and the prophets . . . so the Ten Commandments were themselves given on two tablets. Three were written on one tablet and seven on the other."

- CCC 2067

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Holy Family: "the Church is nothing other the 'the family of God'"


Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than "the family of God." From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers "together with all [their] household." When they were converted, they desired that "their whole household" should also be saved. These families who became believers were islands of Christian life in an unbelieving world.CCC 1655

Monday, December 22, 2014

"O King of the Gentiles": waiting for Christ to "gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad

"O King of the Gentiles, yea, and Desire thereof, O Cornerstone that makest of twain one; come to save man, whom thou hast made of the dust of the earth!" Magnificat Antiphon, Vespers, 22 December


The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel. The Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek - a figure of Christ - and the upright "Noah, Daniel, and Job". Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reached by those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to "gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad".CCC 58

Saturday, December 20, 2014

O Key of David: Jesus, "who is called Christ", should be born of Joseph's spouse into the messianic lineage of David"

O Key of David, * and Sceptre of the house of Israel that openest, and no man shutteth; and shuttest and no man openeth; come to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death! 

"To the shepherds, the angel announced the birth of Jesus as the Messiah promised to Israel: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." From the beginning he was "the one whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world", conceived as "holy" in Mary's virginal womb. God called Joseph to "take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", so that Jesus, "who is called Christ", should be born of Joseph's spouse into the messianic lineage of David."

CCC 437

Friday, December 19, 2014

"O Root of Jesse": the characteristics of the Messiah in the "Book of Emmanuel"

"O Root of Jesse, * which standest for an ensign of the people, at whom the kings shall shut their mouths, to whom the Gentiles shall seek; come to deliver us, make no tarrying!

O radix Iesse * qui stas in signum populórum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabúntur: veni ad liberándum nos, iam noli tardare."
 

- Magnificat Antiphon, Vespers, December 19

The characteristics of the awaited Messiah begin to appear in the "Book of Emmanuel" ("Isaiah said this when he saw his glory," speaking of Christ), especially in the first two verses of Isaiah 11:

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
- CCC 712