Each Sunday we make a “Profession of Faith,” usually the Nicene Creed. This profession of faith sets us on a path of faithful living, whereby we hear the God News and are sent to bring it to our homes and places of work and recreation. The connection between faith and authentic worship lies in this living out of the faith. For worship to be authentic, we must inform our everyday actions. Only spiritual insight attains the goal of faith: authentic worship. let us become more faithful in prayer, in fasting, and in works of justice, mercy, and peace.
“The child to be born will be called holy…” In this middle of Lenten observance, we have the Solemnity of the Annunciation. Our salvation got into full gear with a young woman saying “yes” to an angel. Someone once put it: [this Solemnity] makes Lent a special time for any of us who ‘birth’ Jesus in our service to others.” Jesus is Risen and Alive in us when we act with charity and mercy to others. In that sense, we “birth” Jesus for others to behold. We need to put our faith into action.
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is Lord alone…” You all know this as the “Shema.” Jesus quotes it as the first of the two great commandments. These words were written on parchment called a mezuzah. It was placed in a small leather case called a phylactery. The container holding the mezuzah was placed on the doorpost of the house. The container was slanted to point up to the inside of the house. (This time of the year TCM usually plays the 1959 version of “Ben-Hur.” In one scene Ben-Hur breaks it in a fit of anger, in another he puts it back together and kisses it to show respect. This reverence of the mezuzah was supposed to be done before entering the house. Now you know what he was doing. Watch for it next time!)
Daily Offering to Mary
“O my Lady, Mary, take me under your blessed protection and special guardianship, in the bosom of your mercy. I recommend to you my soul and body today, always, and at the hour of my death. To you I confide every hope and consolation, every anxiety and misery, my life and my death so that through your holy intercession and merits, all my works may be regulated and ordered according to the will of Your Son and your will. Amen.”
Trust in God
“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul, I trust You, let me not be disappointed; do not let my enemies triumph. Those who hope in You shall not be disappointed, but only those who wantonly break faith. Lord, make me know Your ways. Lord, teach me Your paths. Make me walk in Your truth, and teach me: for You are God my Savior. In You I hope all the day long because of Your goodness, O Lord. Remember Your mercy, Lord, and the love You have shown from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth. In Your love remember me. Amen.”
“…how often must I forgive [my brother]? Jewish expectations were 7 times. Jesus essentially says “always.” Many people have problems forgiving someone, especially someone who hurt them. But, we must take Jesus’ words to heart. We just finished the Sabbatical Year of Mercy. It was a year for us to obtain mercy but also a year for us to grow in showing mercy to others.
The Solemnity of the Spouse of Mary, St. Joseph, is celebrated on March 19. But, this Year, March 19 is the 3rd Sunday of Lent and Seasons take precedence. So, we celebrate St. Joseph on March 20 this year. When I was at Holy Rosary parish, there was a parishioner by the name of Tony G. who was a carpenter himself and was fond of St. Joseph. He thought St. Joseph was a forgotten saint and needed to be remembered more. Some years ago, right after being made Pope, Pope Francis had St. Joseph’s name added to all the Eucharistic Prayers not just Eucharistic Prayer I. I hope that made Tony G.happy?