Sunday, January 20, 2019

Marg's Interention

The Wedding Feast at Cana presents a glimpse of the role Mary played and still plays with her Son.  It's a common view, especially among mothers, that the KNOW their children, and mothers of sons seem to have a greater knowledge of them than even their fathers.  Mary's attentiveness to the wine situation shows that she is very aware of details and also sympathetic to what would have been a major disaster for the bride and groom.  She turns to Jesus, who protests that his hour had not come, but knowing him as his mother, she makes her move with the servants.  Jesus responds positively and lovingly, in a sense, coerced by his mother.  Who can refuse the request of a mother?  He works the "first of his signs" at her behest and before the appointed hour.  Is it a wonder that Mary is so popular?  And her intervention still goes on, as miracles of physical healing and conversion through her intercession abound, not only at the famous places of her apparitions such as Lourdes,  Knock, Fatima and Medjugorje, but also in the lives of so many of us. As Marists we are her "Little Brothers", especially close to her.  May we not hesitate to call on her and take her advice to "do whatever he [Jesus] tells us."  (cf. Jn 2:5)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Needing A Physician

When criticized by the Pharisees for eating with "sinners and tax collectors" (Mk 2:14) Jesus retorted that "those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do," and the he came to call sinners, not the righteous. (Mk 2:17). These words are consoling for us, who look in the mirror and see sinner, not righteous. May we remain humble in accepting ourselves as we are and take advantage of the sacrament of Reconciliation at least monthly and take time each evening for a brief examen of conscience or review of the day, asking pardon and giving thanks.
Bro. Rene

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Honoring Life

The 46th March for Life takes place in Washington, DC today.  Despite the weather forecasts, the crowded Streets of marchers testify to the value of life, and invite skeptics and opponents to take stock in the gift of life they share and to view the life of the unborn as valuable as theirs. It is also an opportunity for the marchers and those who support them to deepen their commitment to the truth that life begins at conception and needs to be guaranteed right to endure until natural death opens the door to eternal life. Dear God, thank you for the gift of life; may I always treasure, revere and defend it, for it is a sharing in your life, and as such is sacred.
Bro. Rene

Taking the Gospel To Heart

It's not often that we take the Gospel to heart and use it for the catalyst for a major move in our lives...We take inspiration and perhaps make some little move toward applying it to our lives, but once in awhile someone takes it literally and does make that major move.  Such was St. Anthony of the Desert, Abbot and father of monasticism. On hearing the story of the rich young man who could not part with his wealth, Anthony did just that...sold all his inherited property, provided for his sister, and took to the desert.  Eventually thousands followed him, discontent as the were with the materialistic lifestyle of the day.
Anthony did not leave any profound writings nor "immortal art", but, as St. Athanasius said, "a great reverence for God:"  Such a reverence led him to lead a life of balanced austerity, moderation in food and talk, and freedom from worry about his past. 
How refreshing his life is in our day of excess, materialism and lack of rerevence...not only for God, but for one another...  We are ripe for new Anthonys to step forward and lead the way back to God.  St. Anthony pray for us, help us to take the Gospel to heart and put it into practice as you did.
Bro. Rene.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Balance

The tendency to take on more and more activities and almost become addicted to them, can be harmful, though initially we based on the premise, the more good we do, the better.  Today's  Gospel passage (Mk 1:29-39) shows us the picture of a very busy Jesus, who cures Peter's mother-in-law, and hordes of cure-seekers  that evening.  We don't know if he healed everyone before he went to bed, but we do know that he slept, got up early to pray, and then, hearing of needs in nearby villages, went off to continue his preaching and healing.  He balanced his activity with rest and prayer time. How else could he have kept his frenetic pace? 
So too with us.  "It's all good", as the current cliché puts it, yes, but there must be balance if there is to be effectiveness.  Dear Jesus, help me to add balance to my "to do" list.
Bro. Rene

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Authority Over Demons

Would that we could cast out demons as Jesus did. (cf. Mk 1: 25).  Gone would be the demon of anxiety, stress, worry, doubt.  Poof! in a flash, freedom!  Well, Jesus still stands in our midst and with prayer and faith he still works miracles.. We need to pray, we need faith, we need to invoke his authority.  Why work up to a frenzy and bother with doctors?  Most of our demons are self-induced, so putting self in a disciplined routine of prayer gives us the "authority", backed by Jesus, to banish these pesty demons. "Jesus, I trust in you. Cast out these demons I have created by your authority.  I believe, I desire, I need your help."
Bro .Rene

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Core of the Message

Now that we are in the first day of Ordinary time, we get to the core of the Message Jesus came to preach:  "The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel." (Mk 1:14).  As clear is it could be.  Almost sounds like Lent.  Well, yes, because Lent is meant to whisk away the obstacles to the living of this message and, because we are human, as any parent will agree, the message has to be repeated over and over again.  So, we take to repenting, turning our life around, and believing.  At this point, just after having completed the Advent/ Christmas Cycle and filled with renewed spiritual fuel, it shouldn't be hard to "reve up our engines." 
This passage concluded with an invitation to Simon, Andrew, James and John to leave their lives as fishermen behind and follow Jesus, which they did without hesitation.  This might not be as easy for us to do, so the call to "repent', clear away the obstacles, turn toward Jesus, takes on more significance and is more of a challenge.  Are we up for it?
Bro. Rene