Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 1: Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary

The Holy Family
Follow along in the book by downloading the pdf file.  The readings start on page 15 and go through page 18. You can also find supplements and additional resources here.

My Reflections on the Readings:

When Christ first entered the world, He chose to do so in the womb of Mary. Thus, the very first people to seek Christ had to find Mary first to find Christ. Saint Joseph, the foster father of Christ, came to know Jesus through Mary. He was given a sacred trust of protecting and defending her so that we could later celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Redeemer. Saint Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist and even John the Baptist himself, came to know Jesus through Mary. It was because Mary felt compassion for her elderly cousin Elizabeth and took the time to travel to their home that John the Baptist was touched in the womb by the Holy Spirit and thus became the one who would prepare the way for Christ.

In a very real way, everything we know about how Christ came to be in this world is given to us by Mary. Matthew and Luke may have written it down, but only Mary would have been able to tell them all how it came to be. I imagine that she did this during those 3 days after Christ’s death, while they were beset with fear and wondering whether they’d been following the wrong guy all along, reassuring them in her stories of his conception and birth and the flight to Egypt that they were not mistaken and that all they needed to do was place their trust in God and they would see.

Perhaps she told some of these stories during the 10 days after Christ’s ascension, when the apostles gathered, waiting, in the upper room for the Holy Spirit to come to them and show them what they were to do next. They had lost Christ once and had seen him return to life, yet they were still afraid and still too uncertain of themselves to go and speak about it. She would have understood their need for reassurance, their fears, and their uncertainties.

So, if we want to seek a better understanding of Christ, it is only natural to seek out His mother as a means of getting to know Him. The writers of Scripture were masters of tight writing, saying so much in very few words. It is one of the reasons that you can study scripture for years, open it up and read a familiar passage only to find some entirely new meaning hidden there that you had not ever seen before and grow in your faith through it. Mary is the key to helping us unlock those deeper meanings, to find those things which we have long sought and not found.

Mary’s words in Scripture are scant, but the advice is always solid. To the angel of the Lord, she first questions to be sure that he truly is sent from God and then tells him “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” To Elizabeth, who greets her as the Mother of Her Lord, she turns back the praise to God proclaiming, “My soul magnifies the Lord”. To the servants at the wedding feast in Cana she goes to Christ on their behalf and then instructs them to,” Do whatever He tells you”. We could avoid most sins if we but followed her example.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “But Mary’s dead, how can we speak to her or seek her advice”, I say to you the same words that Christ himself said, “But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” – Matthew 22:31-32. Though Mary’s body may be resting, her soul is united to Christ and since Christ lives therefore she does as well. Don’t hesitate to seek her out, for when you have found Mary you will have found Christ as well. 

Page 399 - 5 steps to confession
Page 227 – Apostolate’s Act of Consecration
Pages 229-241 – The Rosary

Today's Rosary Mysteries are the Luminous Mysteries. You can follow along in the book or you can find a video of it for download in the resources section above.

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