A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
(Yesterday’s First Reading)
YOU have given your fiat to God. You have given your “yes” to Our Lady. But many of you are no doubt asking, “Now what?” And that’s okay. It’s the same question Matthew asked when he left his collection tables; it is the same question Andrew and Simon wondered as they left their fishing nets; it’s the same question Saul (Paul) pondered as he sat there stunned and blinded by the sudden revelation that Jesus was calling him, a murderer, to be His witness to the Gospel. Jesus eventually answered those questions, as He will yours.
If you are only giving your “yes” to God right now, then you are akin to those in Christ’s parable of the workers who entered the vineyard at the last hour of the day, but were paid the same wage as those who had laboured all day. That is, Jesus will give you the same Gift as those who have been preparing for it for decades, which of course, may not seem fair. But, says the vineyard Owner:
Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous? (Matthew 20:15)
God’s ways are not our ways — “his knowledge is beyond scrutiny,” says today’s First Mass reading. And He has His reasons. Even though St. Paul was not among the Twelve who gave up everything and followed Jesus for three years, he became one of the greatest Apostles. Why? Because the one who is shown the greatest mercy is often the one who “has shown great love” in return.Luke 7:47
“Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” [Jesus] said to him, “You have judged rightly.” (Luke 7:41-43)
Isn’t this a cause for immense joy and hope? At the same time, it is also a call to responsibility. Even though those labourers entered the vineyard at the last hour, they still had the same work to do as the others; so did St. Paul—and so do you and I.
THE UPPER ROOM
Think of this time we’re in right now as that period when Jesus sent the disciples out two by two. It seems strange that the Lord did this before they had received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Nonetheless, these were His instructions:
…take nothing for the journey but a walking stick — no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic… So they went off and preached repentance. They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them. (Mark 6:8, 12-13)
Jesus was sending them “ahead of him in pairs” so that they would prepare the other villages for His coming. Luke 10:1 And even though they had received Christ’s anointing and authority and actually accomplished many of the same works that they would post-Pentecost, this was still a school for them. They didn’t quite “get it”; they were dazzled by their own accomplishments; they argued who was greater; they didn’t fully grasp yet that the Cross is the only way to the graces of the Resurrection.
The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2015
Like the seventy-two, we are in that pre-New Pentecost period where God is indeed granting the Gift to a Little Rabble who, in turn, are to be among the first to help prepare the way for the Kingdom of the Divine Will. The conditions for us are the same: detachment from inordinate desires and even those comforts and securities that often seem entirely reasonable—a “walking stick, money, and a second tunic.” But Jesus is asking us to trust Him in a spirit of simplicity, to take only a mere “pair of sandals.” Why sandals?
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Rom 10:15)
How beautiful will be the feet of you who have said “yes” to Our Lady, those who will be among the first to help usher in the Kingdom of Christ when His Divine Will will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!
The time in which these writings will be made known is relative to and dependent on the disposition of souls who wish to receive so great a good, as well as on the effort of those who must apply themselves in being its trumpet-bearers by offering up the sacrifice of heralding in the new era of peace… —Jesus to Luisa, The Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the Writings of Luisa Piccarreta, n. 1.11.6, Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi
There are still questions, doubts, misconceptions, bickering, competitiveness, and all the presumptions that the disciples had. Yes, I see this today, even among those who have been preparing for years. So it is also the time of the Upper Room, the time of waiting, repenting, humbling and emptying by sitting at the feet of the Mother. Yet, God will use these weaknesses like kindling to further purify and ignite us in love for the full outpouring and operation of the Gift of Living in the Divine Will in the “era of peace” that the popes have been praying for. So…
…let us implore from God the grace of a new Pentecost… May tongues of fire, combining burning love of God and neighbor with zeal for the spread of Christ’s Kingdom, descend on all present! —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Homily, New York City, April 19th, 2008
Lay aside all doubts and wrestling; reject all anxiety and second-guessing. You said yes precisely because you heard Christ’s invitation to, “Come, follow me.” God, therefore, has a plan to deal with your insufficiencies, sins, and bad habits; He has a good teacher lined up for you—Our Lady! And there is no time to waste. So, I am going to write you more frequently meaning, you in turn, have to commit to 5 or so minutes a day to sit at Our Lady’s feet in order to better hear the voice of the Good Shepherd in these chaotic times. I have also created a new category in the sidebar for all of these writings called THE DIVINE WILL that begins with Jesus is Coming! They are meant to be read in order.
And so with me, enter now into the school of Mary. It is Our Lady, with the Holy Spirit, who are going to prepare our hearts for the great Gift of Living in the Divine Will—the Crown and Sanctity of all sanctities—the Flame of Love who is Jesus Christ—and the actualization of the New Pentecost. And so, we begin…
Place your hand upon your heart and observe how many voids of love there are in it. Now reflect [on what you observe]: That secret self-esteem; disturbance at the slightest adversity; those tiny attachments you feel to things and to people; tardiness in doing good; the restlessness you feel when things do not go your way—all of these are equivalent to many voids of love in your heart. These are voids which, like little fevers, zap you of the strength and [holy] desire that one must have if they are to be filled with the Divine Will. Oh, if only you were to fill these voids with love, you too would feel the refreshing and conquering virtue in your sacrifices. My child, lend me your hand and follow me as I now offer you my lesson… —Our Lady to Luisa Piccarreta, The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, Third Edition (with translation by Rev. Joseph Iannuzzi); Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, Msgr. Francis M. della Cueva S. M., delegate of the Archbishop of Trani, Italy (Feast of Christ the King); from Divine Will Prayer Book, p. 249
A lesson in the form of a powerful experience I had last month…
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles’ wings.
(Today’s First Reading)
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