After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree, the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself. Genesis 3:9-10
We just finished taking our second graders through their first reconciliation. It is always a beautiful time as you watch them go through the natural hesitancy and fear as they are unsure of the how they will ‘perform’ in the process and no matter how much you remind them of the love that will be displayed by the priest, fearful of having to tell someone they sinned. Isn’t the behavior of Adam very reminiscent for today’s adults? Don’t we shy away from reconciliation because we have a hard time acknowledging our failures in front of someone else? We have to stop hiding and believe in the grace that awaits us in reconciliation.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Revelation 21: 1 (NIV)
Our final homecoming involves not just ourselves and our fellow human beings but all of creation. The full freedom of the children of God is to be shared by the whole earth, and our complete renewal in the resurrection includes the renewal of the universe. That is the great vision of God’s redeeming work through Christ. Does God’s promise of a “final homecoming” for you and all of creation give you hope?
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. Luke 1:38
The Gospel shows us the Blessed Virgin as a perfect model of purity, humility, candor, simplicity, obedience and lively faith. Following her example of obedience to God, we can learn to serve delicately without being mindless. In Mary, we don’t find the slightest trace of the attitude of the foolish virgins who obey thoughtlessly. Our Lady listens attentively to what God wants, ponders what she doesn’t fully understand and asks about what she doesn’t know. Then she gives herself completely to doing the divine will. The Blessed Virgin shows us that obedience to God is not subservient.
The Word Among Us
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:3
Holy Scripture very often invites us to praise God our Lord. This is not a matter only of verbal praise as our actions should prove that we mean what we say. St. Augustine affirms this: “He who does good with his hands praises the Lord, and he who confesses the Lord with his mouth praises the Lord. Praise him by your actions.” What better example do we have today than Mary. She shows us humble trust in God yet a willingness to question Him. We see a reflective heart that embraces God’s answers wholeheartedly. We don’t see perfect peace, but we do see perfect faith.
Give Us This Day
God has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
There is truly so little historically that we know about Mary. But what we do know about her life was the purity of her consent to the will of God. How much more would we need to know from her life than that? How many of us would give anything to be half as capable as the Blessed Mother is serving God in this way?
St John’s Abby
Otherwise, you might yield to grief, like those who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
The young are shocked by the death of people their own age in accidents, from suicide, even from cancer. The elderly hear daily of the deaths of people they’ve known. Grief at such deaths is only appropriate. Those who have no hope of eternal life certainly are in a different situation than the believer. But for the believer, too, hope in the resurrection cannot simply erase the loss we feel. While we celebrate funerals full of hope and even joy in the resurrection, we cannot bypass the time necessary for grief. Beliefs do not simply obliterate emotions.