Monday, March 10, 2014
Mary TV daily Reflection 3/10/2014
Save us, Savior of the World....
(c)Mary TV 2014
March 10, 2014,
Dear Family of Mary!
We are in the first week of Lent, and the Church starts us off thinking about the fall of Adam and Eve. There is so much to meditate on in Genesis 1 to 3. Fr. Robert Barron recently posted an excellent video on YouTube about Original Sin. I am sure we all heard great homilies on it at Sunday Mass. I have transcribed the homily given in Medjugorje at the English Mass by Fr. Gerard Kelly from the Chicago area. I found his points to be very helpful and practical. (We are going to be able to record the homilies again!) I especially like his advice at the end. Enjoy!
Fr. Gerard Kelly
March 9, 2014 - English Mass
When I was walking up the pathway to the chapel I could hear singing and I knew it was Church singing. I didn't know the language. I initially didn't know what part of the Mass was being sung, but I knew it was church music. And when we began Mass, we could hear the chimes of the Angelus playing. And it doesn't matter what day it is, what time of year, what season of the Church year, whenever we hear a song or chimes of a bell, it says to us that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead! Love has triumphed over death, love has triumphed over hatred. And so it is with that conviction that we enter into Lent, and we can look at that reality every day of our lives.
What good has happened in our lives? What grace has brought us here [to Medjugorje] so that we can encounter God in a deeper way? Whether someone tricked us into coming, or if we came of our own free will, however we got here, there must be something prompting us to be here in this time and this place. It is by God's invitation that we are here. There is certainly good that has begun in us, but what God wants to give more. With love there is always more.
So we look at the readings for today, the story of the Creation and the Fall (Genesis 3). We were created good. There is nothing bad with our bodies. [God] formed us out of the earth. We were made by the living God. This person, this creature you see is the work of God. The Pieta, as beautiful as it is, was made by a human being. The most beautiful churches in the world, they give glory and praise to God, but a human being was created by God, and God breathed into Adam His Spirit. Then in the Garden another spirit was offered. And it turned everything upside down.
I remember one of the reflections Pope Benedict wrote on Adam and he said that Adam and Eve didn't know who God was. Even though they had encountered Him, they thought, "If I can become like God, then I won't need God. I won't need anybody. I will be God." And it was a lie. It was a lie. And they didn't understand that God wants to love us. God wants to enter into a relationship with those He has created, and though God doesn't need me, God seems to want me!! God seems to want you! God wants everyone He has created to interact with Him. God doesn't exist to be all by Himself. And that was the mistake of Adam and Eve.
Another reflection of Pope Benedict says that when we put God to the test...if we try to put God under a microscope in a laboratory, we are placing ourselves above God. And if we do that, God has to meet our criteria. Then we will make the judgment on whether God exists or not. But the real path is through love.
We were created in love. Adam and Eve were created in love. And if we are not supposed to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, we might ask why did He make it?? Well you can't have love without freedom and choice. There is a choice to be made. Do you want love or do you want this...Where freedom is, that is where true love can be found. God is free in His gifts and His giving, and it is the mercy offered to us in Jesus, that gives us the courage and confidence and hope to look into our lives and see what is not of God, knowing that if we just depend on ourselves, we are stuck with it. But if we go to the God who is mercy, God will give us the grace to work through it. So even that (the things not of God) will work towards our salvation, become a means to grow. In my defects I have found the way to grow. Defects are the sins we have had throughout our lives. We could swallow and just stay in them, but they can be spurs to action. We just can't sit in a comfortable chair and do nothing. We have to get up and go.
So we look at the story then of Jesus going into the desert, and I remember hearing Cardinal George give a talk once. Jesus is turning the table. The serpent entered the garden. What more could you want, eternal bliss in a garden. It was beautiful. But here Jesus is entering the desert. He is turning the table. It is God now going out to deal with Satan where Satan lives, in the desert. And Jesus is going to turn the desert into a garden.
So the fame that we seek, the pleasure we seek. The wealth that we seek, all of these things are not necessarily bad. It is not bad to want to eat an ice cream cone, it is not bad to want a nice comfortable chair once in a while, to have enough money to live on, to be respected for the work that you do. But when that becomes god, we are in trouble. When pleasure becomes our god then that is a bad place to be. When wealth is my god, fame and glory...we see what the world does when it is through with someone, he is crumpled up and thrown away.
And so when Jesus is tempted in these ways, He says "no" to all of them. If He had said "yes" to them, He wouldn't have had to die on the cross. But instead He says "yes" to the living God, "yes" to the Father, He says "no" to the temptations given to Adam and Eve in the garden, and here in the desert He says "yes" to the Father, and because of that we have the opportunity to say "yes" to the Father. We know there are instances when we don't say "yes", but...
When Jesus comes back from the desert, Jesus selects His Apostles and then we hear, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs." We begin to hear the proclamation of the Kingdom. We heard those readings before Lent this year, the Sermon on the Mount. It is the way God lives inside of us. If we want to become like God (this was Satan's temptation but his was a lie), but if it is like God that we want to become, then we must eat the fruit of the Tree of the Cross, which is the Eucharist. Then we will become like God.
Do you really want to become like God? Okay, here is how you do it. God is not a jealous god who holds everything to Himself. If you want what I have, here is how you get it! And so this is being offered to us. What I am saying is a mystery. I don't know how to do it! I do know how to do it and I don't know how to do it! I know how to do what is in front of me at a given time, one foot in front of the other, by God's grace choosing between right and wrong. But in the end, all of it is grace. All of it is mercy. And so if we can rely on that, we will always walk out in confidence and trust, in our strengths and in our weaknesses - all this together will bring us the glory that God intends us to share.
All of this is brought about by one person, Jesus. The remedy is in the Lord, in the Eucharist, and it is what flows from this, the thanksgiving. I don't know if I can love God well, but the only worship God wants is the worship of Jesus. Can I love God with my whole heart and soul? Can I love my neighbor as myself, to the point that I can give my life for my neighbor, as Jesus did? I don't know if I can, but I want to. We want to. We are here saying that we want to do this. We can't do it all by ourselves. If we do it, it means we have a savior.
One of the great prayers we could use as our mantra, not just in Lent, but throughout our lives, is the acclamation, "Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free." It is a great rallying cry. "Save us, Savior of the world..." When I am around someone I really don't like, when I am asked to pray for someone who drives me crazy, I can say "Jesus, save them". You can't ask anything more for someone. "Jesus, save them." Saying that pushes away the dislike, so that I can operate. I can pray for them. That acclamation and the way it is translated for us now, "Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free." That is our reality. Every bell you hear, every chime, every song, tells us that that is our faith. So we ask God in the season of Lent that we can know ourselves better so we can serve God better.
Thank you, Fr. Kelly. Thank you for sharing from your heart in such a loving way. May we all learn to call on our Savior, for He indeed has saved us all!!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
©Mary Tv 2014
PS. Tonight on "Fruit of Medjugorje" we will present the testimony of Christina Georgotas, the producer and creator of "Queen of Peace"! Can't wait!!
PPS. Denis and Mike are going to present a talk on Mary TV in Chicago at The Totally Yours Marian Conference. On Saturday, March 29th at 7:40 pm (Medjugorje time) 1:40 pm (Chicago time Central), Mary TV will STREAM LIVE from Medjugorje on the big screen at the conference Mirjana's welcome! (Denis is speaking on Sunday at about 1:50pm (Chicago time).... attached is a flyer with information on the conference. Please pray for Mary TV as we move into this new way of spreading Our Lady and her messages!
"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world!"
Blessed John Paul II -