THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Thursday, July 16th, 2015
Opt. Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Liturgical texts here
SOMETIMES, in all of the controversies, the questions, and confusion of our times; in all of the moral crises, challenges, and trials we face… there is the risk that the most important thing, or rather, Person gets lost: Jesus. He, and His divine mission, that are at the very center of humanity’s future, can easily be sidelined in the important but secondary issues of our time. In fact, the greatest need facing the Church in this hour is a renewed vigour and urgency in her primary mission: the salvation and sanctification of human souls. For if we save the environment and the planet, the economy and the social order, but neglect to save souls, then we have utterly failed.
Here there are certainly immense material, economic, and social needs; but, above all, there exists the need of this salvific power which is in God and which Christ alone possesses. —ST. JOHN PAUL II, Homily at St. Gregory the Great in Magliana, n. 3; vatican.va
It is only through Christ’s saving power, which transforms hearts, that a husband and wife can encounter the source and summit of their sacramental love; that families can discover the peace that surpasses all understanding; that a truly just and peaceful society can begin to emerge.
It is this power that frees man from sin and directs him towards good in order that he may lead a life really worthy of man… that real Christian life may flourish here, so that hatred, destruction, dishonesty and scandal may not prevail… that real culture may be developed, beginning with the culture of everyday life. —Ibid.
Here, then, is the point of Satan’s attack at this hour, as I wrote in The Parallel Deception: to create a mindset within the Church and the world that real human progress can be achieved through a combination of technology, tolerance, and good will without the power of the Gospel that liberates men from sin and the powers of darkness. In effect, the deception is to make Jesus irrelevant, religion unnecessary, and therefore, the Church extraneous, if not dangerous to progress.
JESUS AND YOU
Jesus! Jesus! He is the answer to every human illness, whether in society or the body itself. It is, at its core, an illness of the heart.
But it is impossible for us to bring this message of hope and salvation to the world unless we ourselves know Him. The Scripture comes to mind:
Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:11)
Here, my brother and sister, is the key to knowing God: being still. And so, Satan sends whirlwind after whirlwind into your life and mine in order to keep us “on the surface” of life where the waters remain rough, unpredictable, and fearful. To keep us in a constant state of motion, noise, and busyness. To keep our eyes off of the horizon, the compass, and if possible, the wheel that steers the rudder of the soul so that one’s life becomes not only lost, but if possible, shipwrecked.
Be still, be still. cf. Stand Still What does this mean? How can I do this when I or a loved one is aching from cancer in the flesh? Or when my family is turned against my faith? Or when I can’t find work, am living on pennies, and security has become nothing but a pipe-dream? The answer is to plunge from the “surface” of the storms to the depths of the heart where Christ dwells. To dive a dozen fathoms below into the deep of prayer. Oh! So many of your questions would be answered, beloved, if you would but make prayer the center of your life, or rather, your relationship with Jesus. For that is what prayer is: a relationship.
“If you knew the gift of God!” The wonder of prayer is revealed beside the well where we come seeking water: there, Christ comes to meet every human being. It is he who first seeks us and asks us for a drink. Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us. Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2560
Pray more, speak less. These words continue to come back to me. cf. Pray More, Speak Less Too much talk! Too much speculation! Too much worrying! So many of us are laboring and heavily burdened by everything we see happening around us. And so Jesus, in today’s Gospel, turns to us again and says:
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
He says, Come, a dozen fathoms beneath the Storm. Come to the place of quiet. Come to the Hiding Place where I can heal, strengthen, and feed you with Wisdom.
There is only one thing necessary, even now—yes, even now as the Storm grows in ferocity: and that is to be at the feet of Jesus, to listen to Him in His Word, to speak with Him from the heart, to rest your head upon His breast and listen to Divine Mercy beat its love song to your soul.
To “come to” Jesus means to make a radical decision in your life, like the Apostles of old, to follow Jesus in everything, to imitate Jesus in everything. To bring Him into the midst of your work, your domestic chores, your studies, your internet surfing, your play, your love-making, your sleep… to make Jesus LORD of all. It’s not that Peter ceased to fish; but now, every cast of his nets was a cast into the deep… into the mysterious Will of God, which is the source of life for the soul.
And so, my dear hurting brother, my dear wounded sister: set aside a time today, and every day from now on, and come to Him. Be still. And in this way, you will begin to know God. And when you know Him, then you can share Him with the world.
Last, who knew Jesus better than Mary, His mother? Then place yourself in her arms, her heart, which becomes a meeting place for you and the Lord. Don’t be afraid of the Woman Clothed in the Sun! For she is clothed in Jesus. When you entrust yourself to her, when you consecrate yourself to Jesus through her, then you are acquiring at once a personal and rich font of Wisdom, cf. Wisdom, and the Convergence of Chaos an inexhaustible source of Grace, and an intercessor par excellence. cf. The Great Gift
Come to Jesus, and be still. For He is your hiding place, with Mary, in the Storm.
The following is a song I wrote called Hiding Place…
To hear or order Mark’s music, go to: markmallett.com
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