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April 24th, 2012

Poem : The Witness Of Love

Mary The Holy Mother of God

Oh Immaculate
Mother of God
You are the most
Important witness
Of the eternal love
That Our Creator
Has for each of us.

Therefore, as the
Loving Spouse of
The Holy Spirit
Please help us
To follow Your Son
And love each other
As Father desires.

For Father is Love
And as we are made in
His image and likeness
Love is all, it is all
That we require and
Our Brother, as You know,
Is the Sower of its seed.

– – – written by Liam Ó Comáin

April 5th, 2012

My Hour Has Not Yet Come

My hour has not yet come

The Word of God, discloses several mysteries. One of them is when Jesus responds to prayers of mother Mary, with an excuse – an excuse to intervene. He thus chooses to distance Himself, withdraw Himself from certain prayer situations. I had been praying for certain very pressing situations of my own, as well as for some of my neighbors. During the October 2011 Third Saturday Night Vigil at Perth, when Fr Varghese Parackal VC was sharing the Word, these discernment fermented in my mind.

One excuse, Jesus gives is in John 2: 3-5 and that is to His Mother. Mother Mary is at her relative’s marriage eve at Cana. She finds a family crisis – shortage of wine and the banquet is being served. She discerns the inspiration to intervene. Her process to intervene was to present the situation to Jesus – her intercessory prayer.

Jesus and disciples were also attending the same marriage, and there is a high probability that Jesus himself was aware of the difficult family situation, but chose to hold them in his heart or Jesus did not get the discernment to intervene from Holy Spirit and chose to go with the role of a distant passive relative at marriage.

The disciples’ of Jesus were also present and they also did not pro-actively engage with the situation. Can we then state with confidence that Holy Spirit then chose to be pro-active through Mother Mary ? When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.”

We see a few conflicts here. First conflict is; Mary presents the prayer on behalf of her “needy neighbour”, who is in a crisis. We know the sensitivity of a crisis when we run out of food during a marriage banquet.

The reputation of the family is at stake, and can be a lasting internal wound on the married couple and their families. Her prayer is to her Son, and she knows that He has the capability to find a solution. She uses her relationship with her Son to intercede. We also observe that Jesus also has a similar relationship with the situation and does not visibly progress “suo motto” . We see several evidences across the Bible when Jesus limits himself from intervening into difficult personal or family situations, without the repeat prime move by an intercessor. Thus we have compelling evidence from the Gospels, where Jesus descends the Glory of Father to the personal situation of an affected person at the active intercession of a ‘Third Person’.

The Second conflict is; Jesus also declares his expressive dis-engagement by intimidating His mother (the intercessor) “Woman, what does that have to do with us?” We observe here a technical indifference of Jesus to own mother, own relative. In such a context, if wine is out of stock, several of us – as relatives may go and get some wine from our own homes or friends. But Jesus disowns the engagement of his own mother at the situation and almost intimidates her, but does not succeed in intimidating the determined intercessor in Mary.

The third conflict is ; Jesus raises the limitation of “my hour has not yet come”. He might be meaning also that it is not in the Will of the Father at this hour to intervene. He has not received the communication or message from the Holy Spirit to intervene at that hour. The Father and Holy Spirit are silent on the event of “shortage of wine at Marriage banquet” with respect to Jesus.

The Drama of Salvation works in many ways, as nothing is impossible to the Father. He has many ways, and many doors to shower His Grace into a crisis. My hypothesis is that Mother Mary received the message of courage directly from Holy Spirit. We also know that Gabriel announced her as “Full of Grace” – confirming that she is filled with Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is the Spouse from whom she conceived Jesus. Inspired by Holy Spirit, she ignores the “verbal resistance” or “excuses” of Jesus and continues to plough the field of crisis with her tool of intercession, to harvest a solution – a miracle. His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Mary, thus resolved the conflict, by her positive prayer into the situation. She takes command of the situation and powers Jesus indirectly, with “whatever He says to you do it”. My hypothesis is that Holy Spirit revealed to Mary to issue that powerful Word, not direct to Jesus; but to the servants, and thus indirectly announce to Jesus. She is careful not to overrule Jesus or dis-obey Jesus. Neither is she intimidating Jesus as His mother. She gently plays the crisis and solution to the court of Jesus, and announces loudly that we should surrender the situation in its fullness to Jesus and wait for His instructions, even if Jesus apparently disowns us or the crisis.

This puts her Gift of Courage (confidence to negotiate with God like Abraham), she received from the “Full of Grace” status at its best. Jesus would discern the fruits of the Holy Spirit in that Word “Whatever He says to you, do it.” . That Word, satisfies the nine constants which reveals the presence of Holy Spirit – faith, kindness, patience, goodness, humility, self-control, love, joy and peace. And Jesus would have consulted Holy Spirit at that hour. And Holy Spirit would have revealed the plan of God for that event and hour. The Charism for Jesus to perform the first miracle has been unlocked by the words of Holy Spirit speaking through Mary. “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Which effectively was the passWord and discernment key empowering Jesus.

And we know Jesus performed his first miracle once the event and situation was discerned for Jesus, by Mary with the inspiration of Holy Spirit. This model of effective communication by Mary with Holy Spirit-Son-Father demonstrates , one way in which we operate the Gifts and Charisms received from of Holy Spirit at our baptism, confirmation, Holy Mass.

We observe here two persons who are filled with Holy Spirit. First is Mary (as she was confirmed Full of Grace status by Angel Gabriel earlier) and the Second is Jesus (who received Holy Spirit at his baptism by John The Baptist). Both with the congregation (friends, relatives, disciples) are present at the hour, at the event, at the situation. Each then waits on the message from the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not express the message first, but Mary expressed first. She announced the message to the servants and thus to Jesus. And Jesus humbly validated that message with Holy Spirit and delivers the Glory of God into the crisis at the Marriage at Cana.

We should also earnestly pray in a difficult situation where we have the intercessory role of a “good neighour” like Mary discerned from Holy Spirit and communicate the message to Jesus and advise appropriately “do what Jesus says”. En-trust Jesus and press for the solution – “Do what He says”. That is effectively what we do in a Rosary. Rosary thus is a prayer which helps Jesus to move the hour into our favour.

Especially when our prayer situation continues without favour, when the hour for result is not yet visible, rosary is the right resort. We thus also discern the origin of rosary at the first miracle of Jesus –at Cana. It may not be in excess, if we assert that it was the first rosary which unlocked the Charism of Holy Spirit to Jesus.

Prayer: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us to Jesus when we run out of wine while we have to continue to serve wine to our community, society, friends, families. Pray for us to Jesus, especially when we do not have enough love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, humility and self-control to descend the relevant Charism of Holy Spirit into our day-to-day situations at each of our daily hours.

– – – written by Johnson Edakalathur

January 23rd, 2012

Birth of Mother Mary

Birth of Mother Mary

Bible speaks little of the Mother of God but tradition gives valuable information. We know very little about Miriam of Nazareth as an actual historic person. In this she is in solidarity with the multitudes of people through the centuries especially poor women and men, whose lives are considered not worth recording. We must also be respectful of her historic difference from us in time and place.

Mary lived in Mediterranean rural village, Nazareth, whose population consisted largely of peasants working in the land and craftsmen who served their basic needs. Married to the local carpenter, she took care of the household. We do not find anything in the Gospels about the Birth of Virgin Mary. This is because the main focus has been completely centered on the person of Jesus Christ. The mystery of Christ and His two natures human and divine and His salvific mission, hence Mary was in oblivion.

Much of this knowledge of the circumstances in which we lived has resulted from the contemporary quest for the historical Jesus. But it serves us as well for the Miriam of Nazareth as a Jewish village women of faith. Mary walked by faith, not by sight. She has a relationship with God that was profound. In those days, people’s hope for the coming of the Messiah included in the hope that He would liberate the suffering poor from oppressive rule.

Unlike the birth of john the Baptist (Lk. 1:57-63) we find nothing in the Gospels concerning the birth of Mary. All the same we find in the proto Gospel of James that Ann and Joachim were her parents who were barren but in their old age gave birth to Mary. The feast “Birth of Mary” started in Jerusalem during the 5th century where according to tradition the house of Mary had been. The feast comes at a time when the fields are ready for harvest. So it is a time of rejoicing as they offer the first fruit to God. This is very significant in the light of the Word of the God “When the fullness of time came, God sent His son born of a women” (Gal. 4:4-6).

The description although in the manner of an apocryphal document obviously presents an important historical event about the Birth of the Mother of the Lord. The birth of Mary is ordained in particular toward her mission as Mother of the Saviour. Tradition, grounded on very old testimonies, informs us that Saints Joachim and Ann in their old age came from Galilee to settle in Jerusalem, and there Mary the Mother of God was Born. A Church was built during the 4th century, possibly by Saint Helena, on the sight of the house of saints Joachim and Ann in Jerusalem.

The origin of this Feast sought in Palestine. It goes back to the consecration of a Church in Jerusalem, which tradition identifies as that of the present basilica of St. Ann. At Rome, the Feast began to be celebrated towards the end of the 7th century, brought there by Eastern monks, Gradually and varied ways it spread to the other parts of the west in the centuries that followed. From the 13th century on the feast drew notable importance and celebrated with solemnity on different dates from place to place.

For some centuries now, the Birth of Mary has been assigned to September 8 both in the East and West. However, when the feast of the Immaculate Conception (which has a later origin than that of the birth) was extended to the whole Church the Birth of Mary slowly and steadily assigned everywhere to September 8 – nine months after the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

Read the following 2 articles that tells more about the birth of Mother Mary:

Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary – September 08

Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary

If many “will rejoice” at the Birth of the precursor (Lk. 1:14) a much greater joy is stirred up by the BIRTH of the MOTHER of the savior. Hence, this is a Feast that serves as a prelude to the “joy to all people” brought about by the Birth of the son of God at Christmas and expressed by the singing of hymns and carols. Added to this joy on this MARIAN FEAST is that of light because with MARY’S BIRTH the darkness is dispersed and there raises in the world a dawn that announces the sun of justice, Jesus Christ the Lord.

Mary – Queen – as the daughter of the Father, Mother of the son, and bride of the Holy Spirit, Mary was crowned Queen of Heaven and earth by the Triune God. As we celebrate the Birthday of our Heavenly Mother, let’s pray that she may continue interceding for us.

– – – written by Bro. Mathew Perunilam

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