The Sight of God…Gospel Meditation for Matthew 5:1-12 for the Feast of All Saints

by Angela Lambert

All Saints (3)

November 1st, 2015; Solemnity of All Saints

Gospel Matthew 5:1-12a NAB

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Meditation Reflection:

What kind of boss would fail to pay his or her employees for their work? What kind of friend would take your loyalty and sacrifices for granted? At the same time, how could you accept payment from someone who helped you? As we honor the saints this Sunday we reflect on the mystery of God’s justice and mercy. How He can be both at the same time will only be fully understood in Heaven. In fact, it will be one of the joys and marvels we will experience there. Fr. LaGrange, in his work Life Everlasting, teaches that in heaven we will see how justice and mercy are united in each and every work of God.

Justice means to give each person his or her due. According to Merriam-Webster, Mercy can be defined as “kind or forgiving treatment of someone who could be treated harshly.” The beatitudes in the Gospel today point to something of this reality. None of us deserve or merit heaven on our own. However, through baptism we receive the mercy of God merited by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. God has revealed that in this state of unity with His Son, we then can and ought to work for the building up of His kingdom in our own heart and the hearts of others. This He rewards based on our efforts. Although we do not deserve any reward outright, it would also not be just to give everyone the exact same reward despite their difference of effort.

The way it plays out in heaven is that all who open themselves to God’s mercy receive the joy of union with God in the Beatific vision. However, in light of God’s justice, the depth of penetration of that sight depends on how much we sought God out while on earth. We must remember that we are finite/limited but God is infinite/unlimited. God deserves to be pursued (justice). To describe this stratified vision we use the term “Light of Glory.” We need light to see and the brighter the light the greater the sight. In heaven we all receive the Light of Glory, but some have more light than others. In God’s mercy we all receive this light who accept it, and in God’s justice we receive it in the measure we pursued it during our life.

An analogy might be this: I extend my friendship to anyone who wishes it, even my enemies if they choose to change. However, the intimacy of that friendship will depend on how much time and energy a friend has invested in getting to know me at a deeper level and the number of shared experiences we have. The invitation is open to everyone but the level of acceptance varies. I’m not holding out on the person who only has a superficial knowledge of me but we live in reality and intimacy takes time and openness. God is reality. His friendship is offered to all. How much intimacy you have with God wholly depends on the time, effort, and openness you invest.

At the Second Vatican Council in 1965 the Church taught about the “universal call to holiness.” It means that every human person has the opportunity to become a saint. The means of sanctity are offered to all for those who accept it. We honor the saints today as we celebrate their witness to us that total love for God is possible. They witness to the truth of Christ’s promise in the beatitudes, that the “pure of heart will see God” and that those who are insulted and persecuted in His name can “rejoice and be glad, for [our] reward will be great in heaven.” God is a merciful realist. The path is revealed to us by Christ in the Gospel. God’s grace is available to assist us. Those who work more will receive more and those who work less will receive less. It’s the most basic lesson we teach our kids. All receive more than they deserve and at the same time it is proportioned to our efforts in union with Christ. What kind of friendship do you want with God? Go after it.

Consider:

  • Reread the beatitudes. Which one touches you the most? Why?
  • The Catechism has some beautiful reflections on this mystery. Consider this quotation from paragraph 2009:
   Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God’s gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us “co-heirs” with Christ and worthy of obtaining “the promised inheritance of eternal life.” The merits of our good works are gifts of the divine goodness. “Grace has gone before us; now we are given what is due…. Our merits are God’s gifts.”
  • Reflect on God’s mercy in your life. Consider how even the good things you do He deserves some credit for.
  • Consider the times you failed to respond to God’s grace and did not live out the dignity of being His child.
  • Consider the mystery of the “gift” of a “right” to Heaven through Christ. Compare it to human adoption. Parents who adopt children testify again and again that they love their adopted children as their own and see no real distinction. Adopted children have all of the rights of biological children. We have been adopted by God through Christ with the rights of being His sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of His only begotten Son Jesus.

Make a Resolution (Practical Application):

  • Do something each day this week to deepen your relationship with God.
    • Read a spiritual book or learn more about God.
    • Spend additional time with God – in prayer, or adoration, or silence.
    • Identify something that undermines your love for God and make a resolution to give it up.
  • Pay it forward – extend an act of loving kindness toward someone in gratitude for God’s loving kindness toward you.
  • Reflect more on the mystery of God’s Justice and Mercy by reading the Catechism sections on Justification, Grace, and Merit (paragraphs 1987-2011)

~ Written by Angela Lambert © 2015

* To receive these weekly posts automatically in your email just click the “follow” tab in the bottom right hand corner and enter your email address.
Advertisements

Amazing Grace…Gospel Meditation for Mark 10:46-52

by Angela Lambert

amazing grace

October 25th, 2015; 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel Mk 10:46-52 NAB

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.

Meditation Reflection:

I love the reaction of the crowd in this passage. It seems that Bartimaeus was well known but simply as part of the common landscape of their everyday life. When Bartimaeus cries out to Jesus they react with (what looks like to me anyway) embarrassment. It reminds me of how little kids embarrass their parents by crying out in stores or talking too loudly during a silent part of Mass. Embarrassed, we quickly quiet them and try to impress on them the context of their surroundings. Similarly, the crowd tries to hush Bartimaeus. Jesus is extraordinary and important, Baritmaeus is extremely ordinary and unimportant. Doesn’t he know that he shouldn’t interrupt?

Yet, Jesus has come to transform the ordinary, weak, embarrassing aspects of our lives. We can’t impress Jesus by putting on a façade or hoping to impress Him. Rather, Bartimaeus serves as an example of the process of spiritual conversion. Bartimaeus knows he is blind and a beggar. The first step in the spiritual life is self-knowledge. It requires humble, prayerful, introspection wherein one acknowledges his or her weaknesses, sinful habits, and disordered attachments. It involves learning one’s limits as well as what one is motivated by – be it fear, ambition, anxiety, a need to please others, greed, lust, vanity, insecurity, or competitiveness. Whatever it may be, when we come to recognize it, we realize our incapacity to overcome it ourselves. We feel crippled and pitiful. We might beg for the help of others and it may get us through on a day by day basis. However, we yearn for wholeness, not just a daily life but the fullness of life.

Bartimaeus believed that Jesus could heal him. He cried out to Christ, despite how embarrassing it was to his family and community. Once we have self-knowledge, we must cry out to Christ as beggars. We have no real right to God’s help and yet He is our only hope. When we surrender control to God and humbly accept our dependence on His grace, we can then receive healing. When Jesus restored Bartimaeus’ sight He enabled him to live his full potential, be incorporated into society rather than live on its edges, and to joyfully follow Christ. Jesus can restore us as well so we can enjoy the freedom of living in communion with Christ and others unhindered by our former disability and enrichened by being our true selves. This truth resonates with every Christian who has experienced authentic conversion.   The song Amazing Grace remains a treasured classic, capable of provoking tears on many occasions because of this very fact.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.Through many dangers, toils and snares…
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…
and Grace will lead us home.

The Lord has promised good to me…
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be…
as long as life endures.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years…
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise…
then when we’ve first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me….
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Consider:

  • Acknowledge a weakness or difficulty of yours and lay it before Christ. Imagine you are Bartimaeus, crying out and begging, trusting that Jesus will heal you or help your situation.
  • Consider someone in your life that you could be more compassionate toward. Reflect on how their sin or weakness that bothers you is in fact quite pitiable. Rather than judging, pray for that person and ask Christ to help them.
  • Reflect on the song Amazing Grace. A beautiful performance of it by Andrea Boccelli can be found on youtube at this link:

Make a Resolution (Practical Application):

  • Pray for Christ’s mercy and healing each day this week. If possible, go to Him in the sacrament of Confession or attend a daily Mass.
  • Extend mercy toward someone this week. Show patience or offer encouragement to someone struggling.

~ Written by Angela Lambert © 2015

* To receive these weekly posts automatically in your email just click the “follow” tab in the bottom right hand corner and enter your email address.

 

Gospel Meditation for Mark 10:35-45 for Sunday October 18th, 2015

by Angela Lambert

agony in the garden

October 18th, 2015; 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel of Mark 10:35-45 NAB

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?” They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” They said to him, “We can.” Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Meditation Reflection:

Mark’s Gospel centers on Christ as the Suffering Servant. It’s the shortest of the four Gospels but possibly the hardest message to swallow. Jesus repeats again and again that greatness in His kingdom is measured by how conformed we are to Christ on earth. Like James and John, we all desire to be conformed to His victory, His impressiveness, and His leadership. However, Jesus explains that conformity to Him means drinking the cup that He did – that of obedience to the Father and redemptive suffering. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just before Jesus’ Passion and death, Matthew recounts:

And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” MT 26:39

 If this was Jesus’ reaction to redemptive suffering, we can take comfort that He understands our own weakness and fear in the face of intense pain or difficulty. We can also learn from Christ’s example that despite these feelings, He surrendered His will to the Father and allowed Himself to be strengthened by an angel. Christ didn’t do it alone and we do not have to either. In fact, Christ suffered to redeem us from our sins but also to be near to us in our own suffering so that we would not be alone. From my experience, and I think it resonates with many Christians’, Christ is nearest during the hardest times. In the second reading for today from Hebrews 4:14-16 St. Paul encourages us that:

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

St. Paul also says that Christ’s suffering and death are a “stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” I would go a step further and say that the Church’s teaching on Redemptive Suffering is even more of a stumbling block. A life conformed to Christ’s example of love, generosity, humility, and mercy means a soft heart open to others and therefore open to pain. Nevertheless, suffering endured and offered up for others has redemptive power. St. Paul also makes the bold claim that,

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. Colossians 1:24

 Although Christ merited all of the graces necessary for the redemption of all men, He has given us a share in His redemptive work in that when we unite our suffering to His those graces are applied to the souls of others. Christ could build His kingdom without us, but He has chosen to not build it without our participation. This mystery poses a stumbling block for us but it also poses an opportunity for a share in Christ’s greatness. Moreover, those who have endured suffering for the sake of Christ’s kingdom all affirm, as do I, that the Lord “gives us joy to balance our affliction” (Psalm 90:15). Those who share in Christ’s death, also share in His resurrection; and those who share in His afflictions share in His glory. Whenever you suffer, whether physical or emotional, try to offer it up in union with Christ’s. It has tremendous power. Lean in near to Christ and receive His comfort and strength.

Consider:

  • Reflect on a difficult time in your life. Consider how Christ can relate to your situation. Consider the gifts and graces He provided to get you through.
  • Reflect on how “Pain is the price of love.”
    • Why do we avoid love out of a fear of pain?
    • Why is love worth the price?
    • How does Christ’s example shed light on this?
  • As part of the Mystical Body of Christ, we all benefit from the prayers and redemptive suffering of others. Thank God for the graces you have received from those you may not even know were praying for you!

Make a Resolution (Practical Application):

  • If you are going through a difficult time right now, reflect on the painting above of Christ in the Garden and ask for Him to be near. Offer your suffering up for someone in need of grace or conversion.
  • If you are not going through a difficult time right now, take 5 minutes to thank and praise God for His blessings.
  • Pray for, and if possible, reach out to someone suffering.

~ Written by Angela Lambert © 2015

To receive these weekly posts automatically in your email just click the “follow” tab in the bottom right hand corner and enter your email address.

 

Gospel Meditation for Mark 10:17-30 for Sunday October 11th, 2015

by Angela Lambert

Jesus and the Rich man

Gospel of Mark 10:17-30 NAB

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” Peter began to say to him, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.”

Meditation Reflection:

Jesus is about to leave when the young man comes running to Him. The question must have been burning on his heart and he knew he had to get to Jesus and ask Him before He left. In every human soul, the question of eternal life singes until satisfied.

In his work, Pensees, the philosopher Pascal observed that we fill our lives with distractions just to avoid this very question. When we are quiet or alone, it surges up and must be dealt with. We realize the feebleness of our nature and our true vulnerability. We are then faced with the clear decision that either there is no God in which case I can live as I want but my life is meaningless, or there is a God and I can live forever but I must acknowledge His authority and live by His precepts.

Many of us make something of an effort. Like the rich young man, many of us modern religious persons live comfortable and fairly moral lives. We follow God’s rules while we pursue the average American dream. Yet, our hearts still burn for more. Thankfully, the man in the passage pushes Jesus on the issue. Jesus affirms that the man has done the minimum requirement for eternal life. So why isn’t he satisfied? This is why “Jesus, looking at him, loved him.” The man had opened his heart with a listening ear, courageous enough to seek out the answer rather than bury the discomfort. He asked Jesus that challenging question I have suggested in past posts – “Lord show me my blind spot.” And Jesus does, out of love.

Christ calls us beyond the minimum.

“You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48)

The philosophical and theological definition of “perfect” is “full or complete.” This is why He tells the man he is “lacking” one thing only. Christ, God incarnate, is about to set out for a journey. He offers the man the opportunity to come follow Him. What a privilege! Yet to do this, he would have to leave everything behind – another fork in the road.

How many times do we turn down incredible opportunities to stay in our comfort zone?   We get sentimental or attached to any number of our possessions and it undermines our freedom to say yes to the gifts of Christ that come in the form of service opportunities, vocation, relationships, even careers we may end up finding more fulfilling but less lucrative. When we let fear, comfort, or greed hold even a small part of us back from God, we experience a nagging feeling of hunger because we are not quite full. It’s normal to feel this divided heart – a simultaneous desire for complete abandonment to God and the fullness of joy and peace that accompany it, and the safe visible comforts of a worldly success which give us a kind of safety net but leave us feeling a bit cowardly.

I appreciate that Jesus says it’s impossible for us to make this leap by human effort alone because it speaks to my own experience. Rather than being discouraged by my own failure, I find hope in Jesus’ words that “all is possible for God.” The difference between the Old and New Covenant, is that in the first God gave His saving truth but in the second He gave us the grace to live by that truth. The young man in this passage encountered Christ and saw His gaze of love. May we too be blessed to see this gaze of love for us and say yes to perfect fullness. It’s okay if we leave feeling sad. It’s difficult to give up attachments. We don’t actually know if the man in this passage is sad because he won’t give up his possessions or because he will. The important thing is that we respond to grace, confident in Christ’s promise that our “sadness will be turned to joy” (John 16:20).

Consider:

  • Do you avoid solitude or quiet? Do you have a nagging feeling inside? Do you know why? With the help of Christ, consider honestly what fears, comforts, or ambitions hold you back from following Him with complete freedom and abandonment.
  • When did you make a sacrifice for Christ that turned out to be a terrific blessing? What held you back at first? How did you overcome those inhibitions? How did Christ exceed your expectations?
    • (for example: when I personally felt called by Christ to stay home with my children I found it hard to leave my job and the feeling of achievement. However, I came to experience freedom from taking my identity in accomplishments and a fullness of love in my heart I had never imagined. When my kids were school aged and Christ called me back to teaching, I found it difficult to transition again. However, I have a richer experience at work than before because now it’s more fully in union with Christ and I am less pulled by earlier attachments. It has also enriched my relationship with my kids as God has purified me of attachments I had grown while at home with them.)

Make a Resolution (Practical Application):

  • Christ challenges that possessions hold us back. Give away a possession this week.
  • Choose one fear, comfort, or ambition that is holding you back from following Christ’s lead completely. Practice the opposite virtue and do concrete actions to detach yourself. Be sure to pray and ask for grace. You will need Christ to help. Talk with a Christian who knows and cares about you so they can offer ideas and perspective.
  • Thank God for His grace in your life. Make a list of His gifts and of all the fears He has already freed you from up to now.
  • If God’s providence creates the opportunity, have the courage and humility to encourage someone else with your witness about how God freed and fulfilled you.

~ Written by Angela Lambert © 2015

To receive these weekly posts automatically in your email just click the “follow” tab in the bottom right hand corner and enter your email address.

 

Gospel Meditation for Mark 10:2-12 for Sunday October 4th, 2015

by Angela Lambert

Mary undoer of knots

October 4th, 2015; 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel of Mark 10:2-12 NAB

The Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him. He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?” They replied, “Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.” But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Meditation Reflection:

Pope Francis recently visited the United States for the purpose of supporting and building up the family. At this past week’s Wednesday audience, he summarized his message in this way, a reminder of God’s beautiful plan for humankind:

The humanism of the Bible presents this icon: the human couple, united and fruitful, placed by God in the garden of world, to cultivate it and to guard it.”

Scripture reveals that the family in fact represents most completely the image of God. Moreover, the image of a God who has revealed Himself to be a communion of Persons of life-giving love. Even though it was Jesus who revealed God’s Trinitarian nature, we can see the Trinity already foreshadowed in the Old Testament. The first instance being when God created humans in His own image. We read in Genesis 1:26-28,

Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness…God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.”

God, who is One, referred to Himself as “us” and created two persons, distinct yet one to be His image. The unity of man and woman as the image of God is again affirmed in Genesis 2:18-24 when man is not complete without the creation of woman. Although we may joke that a dog is man’s best friend, (and at times both men and women feel that way!), the truth is that we were made to be a communion of persons in life-giving love. Woman is created from man’s side, showing that though she is different than man, she is also of the same nature and of equal dignity.

“The LORD God said: It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suited to him.After creating each of the kinds of animals however, “none proved to be a helper suited to the man. So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built the rib that he had taken from the man into a woman. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of man this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.”

Because the family is the icon of the Trinity and therefore of God Himself, it makes sense that it has suffered the most from Satan’s attacks and from the effects of original sin. The unity between man and woman has been harmed and the joy of openness to life undermined. Sometimes we can feel so far of a distance from our nature at creation that it seems like God’s revelation about ourselves in Genesis is just a dream. Rather than unity we more often see power struggles, selfishness, adultery, use and abuse, and so on. In addition, the gift of fruitfulness has now been categorized as a health problem, worthy of universal “preventative care” as part of women’s health.

After the Fall of Adam and Eve however, God promised a Redeemer. In Genesis 3:15, called the protoevangelium, or “First Good News” God says to the snake, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.” At the incarnation, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”(John 1:14). He brought us truth, healing, love, and redemption. Through Christ we now know the fullness of God’s revelation and we have access to the graces needed to become re-made in His likeness.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus juxtaposes the two possible views toward marriage: a skepticism based on the reality of sin, or a hopefulness based on the reality of redemption. Jesus has not given up on marriage and the family, He has come to redeem it. It is the very image of our Trinitarian God.

One of my favorite images right now is “Mary Undoer of Knots.” St. Paul calls Jesus the “New Adam” because by Christ’s obedience He untied the knot of Adam’s disobedience. Likewise, Mary is the New Eve, whose fiat, or Yes to God untied the knot of Eve’s “No”. Sometimes I feel like life is a knotted up ball of a mess and I feel overwhelmed and powerless. It’s then that I look at the image of Mary undoer of knots and I surrender my life back over to our Blessed Mother and Christ, confident that if I am patient, they will undo the knots, one at a time.

Consider:

  • Consider your own feelings regarding marriage and family.
    • What makes you feel discouraged? Surrender it to Christ and pray for Him to redeem it.
    • What makes you feel hopeful? Think of a couple you know who seem to be truly united in love, who will each other’s good and have Christ at the center of their relationship.
  • How might you image the Trinity more in your own family? In what ways do you bring harmony and unity in your family? In what ways do you undermine unity? (usually we all do both!)
  • Reflect on how authentic love is life-giving and creative. Sometimes this produces human life but even when that isn’t a possibility it still expresses itself in ways that are creative and constructive. Consider the phrase “a labor of love.” When we love something we can’t help but express and share it.

Make a Resolution (Practical Application):

~ Written by Angela Lambert © 2015

* You can receive weekly emails of these posts by following our website.  Just click on the small blue tab in the bottom right hand corner that says “follow” and enter your email address.

* These Sunday meditations are intended to engage the heart and imagination in prayer and include a practical application (resolutions) to your daily life. In our presentation on prayer I offer a more detailed discussion of ways to pray with Scripture that can take 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or half an hour and vary in depth depending on your time-frame and prayer goals.