The Gospel of the beatitudes, appointed for the solemnity of All Saints, is God’s prescription for human holiness and happiness (see Mt 5:1-12), but they aren’t things that would naturally be your “first pick.”
To find our place in the heart of Mary, Mother of the Church, is unique—not so much the sentimental homecoming of popular song, but a place of rebirth in Christ.
The Gospel reading for the feast of St Joseph the Worker (Mt 13:54-58), presents us with a couple of pointed questions about Jesus: “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son?”
“And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’” (Mt 21:9).
It is a feature of the Lenten Gospel readings for Year A that the events recounted are very vivid. The persons involved are so memorable, so human, so similar to us, that we have little trouble placing ourselves in these scenes, imagining that we are there.
When we think of St Joseph, patron of the universal Church, certain words come immediately to mind: faithful, just, obedient, silent. There is precious little information in Scripture about him, but these words always seem apt to describe his character.
In our Lord’s conversation with the Samaritan woman we can hear, as St Augustine observes, one of Christ’s most attractive and tender invitations: “Come to me, all you who labor and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)
Our own “desert” to which Christ is calling us might be anything from a private home, to an office cubicle, to a city street. Wherever the contents of our hearts can and should be revealed, there the Bridegroom awaits us.
To have been embraced by the blessed Virgin as our mother in her moment of supreme grief leaves no doubt about the special worth that she places on suffering in our lives.
No one is more aware of the passage of time than a convert. There is a clear before and after whose threshold is a life-changing encounter with Christ.
Not too long ago I saw a marble bas-relief representing the adoration of the child Jesus by the Magi. The central figures were surrounded by four angels, each one bearing a symbol: a crown, an orb surmounted by the cross, a sword and a scepter.
God’s nearness is one of the most startling realizations for those who have begun living the spiritual life in earnest. That God sees and hears me, that He is both working through and loving me in all circumstances is a revelation that immediately inspires wonder.
In the three-year cycle of readings for the Solemnity of Christ the King, it might seem strange to have alternative Gospels that emphasize Christ’s weakness. What kind of kingship are we acknowledging and celebrating in Christ, the King?
St Josemaria expresses the wish in The Way that we should learn to speak of the holy souls in purgatory as “My good friends the souls in purgatory” (571).