A London mob grew restless and was about to explode. An elderly Chief of Police showed up and slowly walked through the crowd. The mob fell silent and stepped aside. It was like letting the air out of a balloon. The Chief was later asked if he was afraid. “No,” he replied, “because they knew I represented the king.” Jesus had the same impact on evil spirits. They knew He represented His heavenly Father. Have you ever felt the powerful impact of Jesus’ presence in your life?
“Besides the times of the year that have their own distinctive character, there remains in the yearly cycle thirty-three or thirty-four weeks in which no particular aspect of the mystery of Christ is celebrated, but rather the mystery of Christ itself is honored in its fullness, especially on Sundays. This period is known as Ordinary Time.” (Universal Norms, 43) Ordinary Time begins.
Baptism is initiation into Christ. We “put on” Christ. This is both a call and a way of life, not a membership. The late Fr. Raymond Brown, whose baptismal commitment was evident to all who knew him, often stressed the significance of Christian baptism by insisting that “the day a person is baptized is more important than the day when a person is ordained a priest and bishop.” Amen to that.
Prayer to St. Anne
“O good St. Anne, loving mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, you are so powerful in heaven. Heal me of all my physical ailments, preserve me from every danger in life, and pray for my soul’s salvation in the moment of my death. Amen.”
George Washington Carver, the famous inventor, said, “While most other people are sleeping, I go into the woods. There in the early morning stillness, I listen to God and to His plan for me.” Carver was imitating what we hear in today’s gospel as Jesus would often get up early and got to a lonely place and commune with His heavenly Father. How much time do we spend in solitude and in prayer each day?
Every village and town had a synagogue but there was only one Temple and that was in Jerusalem. People went to the Temple to make a sacrifice. They went to the synagogue to read and discuss God’s word. Our Liturgy of the Word at mass roughly equates to the synagogue service and our Liturgy of the Eucharist to the sacrifice. How well do we understand what we do when we come to mass? “The effect of our sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ is to change us into what we receive.” St. Leo the Great
Mark, Matthew, and John have Jesus walk on water right after the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. The two events leave the disciples confused. How do we cope with times of confusion in our faith relationship with Jesus?