THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for Saturday, December 31st, 2016
The Seventh Day of the Nativity of Our Lord and
Vigil of the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of God
Liturgical texts here
THERE is one word on my heart on this eve of the Solemnity of the Mother of God:
This is the “now word” on the threshold of 2017, the “now word” I hear Our Lady prophesying over the nations and the Church, over families and souls:
The great and terrible mark of our times is division—division between nations, division within nations, division between religions, division within families, and even division within souls (their gender divided from their biological sex). There is only one Word, that is, one Man, who can heal these fractures among us, and that is Jesus. He alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
…and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (Today’s Gospel)
His Name has been lost in the rancor of our times… lost in endless debates, whether political or theological, where no one is listening to the other any longer. Even in the Church, the debate over Pope Francis and the seemingly all-consuming fears, suspicions, and doubts among many are drowning out the one Word that matters most, the One who alone can free us from ourselves: Jesus—He whom the darkness has not overcome, cannot overcome, never will overcome.
After thousands of years of war, strife, poverty, crime, hatred and murder that continues to explode in endless cycles… after 2000 years of unfolding divine Revelation from the moment of the Incarnation… after all that has been said and done… the Lord now comes to broken humanity with five words:
Jesus, I trust in you.
Jesus said to me, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world… Distrust on the part of souls is tearing at My insides. The distrust of a chosen soul causes Me even greater pain; despite My inexhaustible love for them they do not trust Me.” —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 47, 50
Within these five words lies the key to unlocking grace upon grace, power upon power, light upon light for souls and nations. The key is faith—faith in Jesus Christ, that He is who He says He is: the Son of God… God Himself.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God. (Today’s Gospel)
It is not a distant and impersonal faith that unlocks the key to grace, but a personal, deliberate choice that says “yes” to Jesus, that welcomes Him as a friend, and trusts Him as a father. cf. Personal Relationship with Jesus
This New Year’s eve is a true night in our world… when nations stand on the verge of a Third World War; when tens of millions are still starving to death while food is discarded and obesity abounds; when millions of children are being exploited, sold, and aborted; when pornography is dragging multitudes into degradation and despair; when billions are living in abject poverty; when reason itself has been eclipsed as technology spirals away from ethics; and when false prophets with false solutions have emerged like a powerful wave sweeping over the world… cf. The Spiritual Tsunami
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. (Today’s first reading)
Into this darkness, the Light of the human race has shone and continues to shine: Jesus Christ, Lord and Saviour of all. He is the light that penetrates every lie, every falsehood, ever pretense, and every doubt. He is the power that overturns every stronghold and fortress. He is the tested and true Word that alone can liberate men and women from their chains, forever. Into this darkness, He offers us five words which have the power to free us from the Prince of Darkness: Jesus I trust in You.
The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and splendid day of the Lord, and it shall be that everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord. (Acts 2:20-21)
He is the Way—the way of love—which, when followed, brings true peace and joy. He is the Truth—the truth that enlightens—which, when obeyed, liberates nations, families, and souls. He is the Life—the life of the soul—which, when received, opens the heart to eternity and every spiritual blessing. Proof of this is not in a petri dish, laboratory, or library; it is not in secret societies, rituals, or philosophical meanderings; it is found in the childlike heart that responds with a simple yes: “Yes, Jesus, I believe. Come into my life, into my heart, and reign over me as Lord.”
To every man, woman and child; to every atheist, Jew and Muslim; to every president, prime minister, and leader, Our Mother cries out: Jesus! He is the answer to our sorrows! He is the answer to our hopes! He is the answer to our perennial problems, which we continue to repeat, multiply, and propagate as if evil must be exhausted before it will ever be abandoned. He alone is the Answer that will continue to be proposed to this ailing world until every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. cf. Phil 2:10-11
Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy. —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 47, 50
Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time… —Jesus to St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, n. 83
…that Word is Jesus.
Today is the day of salvation. Let the name of Jesus be found upon your lips so that He may be found in your heart.
Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. Sing to the LORD; bless his name; announce his salvation, day after day. (Today’s Psalm)
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