The Making of a Mockery

A Rosary Meditation: The Third Sorrowful Mystery, The Crowning with Thorns.

“And bending the knee before him they mocked him … ” Matthew 27:29.

Here we have Jesus, dressed by those who hate him, dressed as a king. Wasn’t a very impressive wardrobe, was it? The “kingly” cloak thrown over him, a reed for a scepter, a crown made of thorns. And the Roman soldiers, the ones without a true belief in Jesus (I say “true belief” because they obviously believed that he was real and standing there in front of them, but for them that was as far as the reality of Jesus went.) bowed their knees in mockery.

Lots of folks believe in Jesus. He lived, he breathed, he walked the earth … And that’s as far as their belief goes. Lots of folks who believe in Jesus make a mockery of him today. And some of these? They’re very “religious”.

Someone bows before the Tabernacle and then, after leaving church, cheat their employer out of an honest wage by being lazy on the job. Someone bends the knee in church and then latter lies about something. Someone genuflects and the next day … You get the picture.

When a person does things like this they dress Jesus just like those soldiers did. And its not much of a wardrobe. But it obviously comes from the heart, doesn’t it?

“By their fruits you shall know them … ” Matthew 7:16, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … We all are given opportunity every day to express our love for Jesus. The wardrobe, the crown we place upon his head, is it of gold or of thorns? Because these things are a reflection of our love for him. These things tell him, and the people around us, everything anyone needs to know about our relationship with God.

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Walking Dead

Today’s Gospel reading is John 11:3-7, 20-27, 33b-45.

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he had said this, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

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We’re all familiar with the above happenings. Over the years we’ve heard the story so many times its like we were there. You can almost see the crowd, hear the murmuring, feel the suns heat, and smell the dust in the air. We know God has unlimited power. There has never been a grave He couldn’t open and empty. I heard someone say once that if Jesus hadn’t prefaced the words “come out” with the name Lazarus all of the dead would have risen. Interesting thought. But there’s one thing in all of the above, more than any other aspect of the story, that I think stands out.

“And Jesus wept.” John 11:35.

Why? In this instance we usually think of Christ’s humanity and that he cried because his friend Lazarus had died. And that makes sense. But remember what he’d said earlier? “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” And he had told his disciples plainly that Lazarus wasn’t dead but only sleeping. Have you ever noticed that when a believer who has died is spoken of in the Bible they’re described as sleeping? And when someone dies away from God they’re spoken of as being dead? Lazarus was a real and faithful believer. Death can’t hold someone who dies in God’s grace because God is the Author of Life, not death. Real death is to be separated from God. So Lazarus wasn’t really dead, not even if his body was decaying. ” … everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” And Jesus knew what it was that he was going to do before he did it. So, why the tears?

Remember what we’re told? … He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?” … Some said he cried because his friend was dead. That’s generally what we say too, isn’t it? But what were the others saying? I mean, what were they saying really? They were wondering, asking “Why?”, and perhaps casting aspersions. We may feel like we were there, we’ve heard the story so often, but we weren’t. We didn’t hear the tone that went with these words, neither did we see the facial expressions. But Jesus did. And he became perturbed.

Christ proved himself over and over. Anyone willing to see could recognize him as the Messiah and his works spoke for themselves. And still they doubted. Personally I think their doubt was cause enough for Jesus’ tears. So what did he do? He proved himself once again. Lazarus came forth.

Over the millennia Jesus has proven himself so many times there’s no way to count it all. He said, “Do this as a remembrance of me.” And all over the world, daily, this happens. After all these centuries isn’t that a proof? For hundreds of years the walking dead have entered the confessional only to exit alive and well. Isn’t this a proof? We have a God given gift of nearly 2,000 years of unbroken Papal reign. Doesn’t that sound like a proof? We have a Bible that’s been maligned by many and butchered by some. But we’ve still got it, don’t we? And in a world so sick with sin that it makes the light almost impossible to see at times God still makes saints that shine like the Son. But people doubt anyway, regardless of the evidence, despite the proof. If you think about it its enough to make you cry.

Why did Jesus cry? If someone you loved was dead wouldn’t you cry? But we’ve already seen that Lazarus wasn’t really dead but only sleeping. You don’t cry over someone sleeping. But the people who’ve seen the proofs and still don’t believe, the ones murmuring sarcastically about Jesus, while turning a blind eye willingly, were they alive? How could they have been? They were without Christ while he was standing right there in front of them. Jesus saw all of those walking dead, those willingly blind, the people who refused the proofs, the people he loved enough to leave Heaven and die for, and Jesus wept.

Its up to each individual what we do with the poof of God’s Love and Truth. We can make sarcastic remarks about the priesthood because we didn’t like the homily, having had our toes stepped on, while forgetting that this same priesthood has been miraculously ongoing for 2,000 years. We can shun confession because we decide we’re OK without it. After all, don’t we know what’s best for our souls? We can forget all about the examples of Pius XII, John Paul II, Mother Teresa, and the ongoing list of martyrs, all proofs of God’s power and love. We can center on Johnny Depp and the wrong Madonna instead. After all, its a popular thing to do, isn’t it? And we can, if we choose to, separate ourselves from the company of Lazarus, who lives, and live with the murmuring dead instead. Its up to us. Its up to us whether Jesus weeps again or not.

From the Heart

A Rosary Meditation: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, The Crucifixion.

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them … ‘ ” Luke 23:34a.

Have you ever been slighted? You know, the guy who never payed back that $10 you loaned him. Or the person who borrowed your best pair of sewing scissors and never brought them back. Is it hard to forgive things like that? Well, honestly, yes it can be. Should it be? No, of course not. But a lot of the time it is anyway, isn’t it?

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” There have been times when I’d hear myself say those words and know I should cringe. Or I’d read that parable about the ungrateful servant and sadly feel a kinship. And I hate to say this but I don’t think I’m that much different from anyone else. So we all suffer, by whatever degree, from a problem with forgiveness. The good news is that we can learn and grow, which is a big part of our ongoing conversion. So just because we had a problem forgiving the last time? That’s got nothing to do with this time.

The individuals problem with forgiveness can be, and I believe generally is, two fold. It can be really hard to forgive, and it can be just as hard to accept forgiveness. On the one hand the other person isn’t worthy while on the other hand we feel unworthy. You know what? That’s right on both counts because none of us are worthy. And being worthy is about as far removed from the point as the east is from the west. No, its further.

Forgiveness is never about who’s worthy. If it was we’d all be doomed. When Jesus forgave all those involved in his crucifixion he didn’t say, “Father, forgive those that are worthy … ” When Jesus forgave from the cross he forgave the Roman soldiers, the Pharisees, the crowd that had screamed, “Crucify him!”, the High Priest, and … Everybody that had anything to do with his suffering. That includes you and me. You see, we can learn and grow and become forgiving. But God doesn’t learn or grow, He doesn’t need to. He already knows how to forgive from the Heart. We learn from Him.

So if its not about being worthy of forgiveness what is it about?

“Go then and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just (Think: those who are worthy.), but sinners.” Matthew 9:13, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … Forgiveness is always about mercy and never about being worthy. We work out our salvation, this is true. Faith without works is dead. But mercy isn’t earned. If you could earn it, well, it wouldn’t be mercy. It would be your rightful wage. Mercy is a gift that flows from Calvary. And we all know what it was that flowed there. Its mercy that gives us opportunity to work out our salvation. And its mercy that the other person needs from me just like I need it from them and we both need it from God.

P.S. My friend, the one I requested prayer for, came by and they seem to be doing much better. Please keep praying. And for those of you who read “The Saga of the Shrimp” a short while back? I’m waiting on my last two packages to arrive and then … The Saga Continues. 😉

Believing is Seeing

Today’s Gospel Reading (short version) is John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38.

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth. He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent —. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said, “Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is, “ but others said, “No, he just looks like him.” He said, “I am.”They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees. Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath. So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a sinful man do such signs?” And there was a division among them. So they said to the blind man again, “What do you have to say about him, since he opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

They answered and said to him, “You were born totally in sin, and are you trying to teach us?” Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.

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     You know, we’re all born blind. Our blindness stems from original sin. But as hopeless as the situation may seem, being born into darkness, its not hopeless at all. And we needn’t worry about the means God uses to restore our sight, to bring us to conversion. The man we read of here was born blind. There were doctors who were knowledgeable then just as there are now. There was nothing they could do for him. None of their elixirs or potions would help. There are things modern medicine can’t deal with either. The common cold is a good example. But what did Jesus do?
     “He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent —. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.”
     Jesus didn’t use any of the things a doctor would have. He didn’t use anything the world would have turned to. He used mud made with spit. And he does things like this all the time. The simple element of water becomes a vehicle of grace in baptism, simple oil brings comfort, and perhaps healing if its Gods will, during the anointing of the sick. Everyday bread and wine are changed by a miracle into God Himself. And mud gives sight to one born blind.
     We usually complicate things. If it had been me trying to help the blind man see I’d have looked for all sorts of herbs and minerals and would’ve put him on a regimen of diet and some sort of exercise. I’d have complicated things. And the blind man? He’d still be blind.
     Jesus never complicates things. He always keeps things simple. And then the world, like the Pharisees here, debate and argue about how such a thing could happen. How was it that this man, blind from birth, now sees? Jesus is still using simple things to open eyes, to bring about conversion. Something as seemingly insignificant as a string of beads. And the world wonders, people around us argue and debate. How could it be that someone like this one, who lived such a life of depravity, now be so different, so … Changed? When a persons eyes are open their viewpoint changes.
     When people begin to see after having been blind they change. Because they change the world, the folks around them, casts them out. People with real sight don’t fit in with the crowd that’s stumbling around in the dark, blindly. So they get cast out. And that’s a good thing. When they threw the man who could now see out who was it that immediately came looking for him?
     When we receive our sight and the world wonders, as we experience conversion, the ongoing process of turning to and drawing nearer to God, and the world sees the difference and shoves us aside because we don’t fit in anymore don’t worry about being cast out. Because when we’re cast out He takes us in. And that’s a sight to behold.

 

Leading away …

A Rosary Meditation: The Third Sorrowful Mystery, The Crowning with Thorns.

“Now the soldiers led him away … ” Mark 15:16a.

I’ve wondered, in the past, what it must’ve felt like to be Jewish in Nazi Germany. “Branded” with a yellow star, packed into railroad cars, watching loved ones going you didn’t know where while you yourself were going in the opposite direction. Did the people being led away feel fear, disgust, hatred? All of these being led away by soldiers. Or how it felt to walk the Trail of Tears, going to a territory that was altogether foreign, watching as some of the people you were closest to died on the journey, no proper burials, no ceremony to mourn their passing, buried in forgotten graves. Did the brave warriors feel fear? Did they feel hatred? How did the old women and the young children feel? What did they feel while being led away by soldiers?

Jesus was led away by soldiers. They weren’t kind or understanding. They mocked him, placing the crown of thorns on his head. A fine jest. Did any one of them feel the slightest twinge of pity or guilt? Did the Nazi soldier feel anything? Was there any remorse at all? Did any of the U.S. Cavalry soldiers consider what it was they were doing to fellow human beings? Or was it just a job, the people only “things” less than human to be disposed of? Or was it a fine jest?

We’ve all heard people say things like, “No one gets out of this world alive”. That’s true. I think its just as true that no one gets out of this world without being crowned with thorns one way or another. At some point we are all led away by soldiers. The “soldiers” may take on a different guise, but the leading remains the same. And it doesn’t really matter whether you’re a Christian or not.

(And before someone takes it wrong and starts thinking I’m down on the military, I’m not. This is an allegory.)

So what does matter? If we’re Christian it matters whether or not we accept the crown of thorns we receive for love of Christ. Receiving a crown such as this outside the love of God no doubt counts, and it counts in a multitude of ways. But does it count for eternity? There’s the difference. And that difference does matter.

Pity and pray for the “soldiers” who do the leading. (Husbands leading wives astray, corporations that lead consumers “away” with less than healthy commodities, fellow high school student who … and etc.) “Just following orders, that’s all.” Not putting authority in its proper place, as in God and His commandments coming first with the will of men coming second at best, the “soldiers” that do the leading are being led by one crueler than they could ever be. When a Christian is led we’re led like lambs to the slaughter and regardless the crown we receive from men we receive a greater from Him. But the ones following orders, and it doesn’t matter who it is giving them, are the ones that receive a reward that’s dreadful.

“The four and twenty ancients fell down before him that sitteth on the throne, and adored him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, … ” Revelation 4:10, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … “No one gets out of this world alive.” That’s true. As far as it goes. But it doesn’t go far enough because if you leave this life with the Life of Christ in you then you DO get out of this world alive. And you’ve a crown waiting.

Recognizing Your Political Status

A Rosary Meditation: The Second Sorrowful Mystery, The Scourging at the Pillar.

“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. But thou sayest it; I am a king.” John 18:36-37.

That’s a very bold statement from someone in Jesus’ position, standing there a prisoner, being questioned by the one man who, supposedly, could grant him his freedom and his life. But Jesus doesn’t back down not one inch. Because he is a king and he knows it. To admit to anything else would be a lie.

As children of God, the sons and daughters of God (1 John 3:2), we are faced daily with choices like the one Jesus faces here. We can admit who and what we are or we can deny it. We can do either by our words and/or actions. We can carry ourselves like members of the Royal household or not. We can try to emulate Jesus (see Matthew 10:25 and John 14:12), recognizing our true spiritual political status, which is our best option. But its not our only option. Because if we aren’t trying our  best to follow and be like him there’s really only one other alternative and that’s to emulate the other guy, who only seems to have status. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.” John 8:44, Douay-Rheims. Notice that while God fathers kings and priests Satan fathers lies. Its our choice who we’re related to here. Its our choice as to our status.

We all have choices. We can be what God wants us to be, what He calls us to be, or …

Pilate had a choice here, didn’t he? He had the earthly power and authority to release Christ. And he did make an attempt. As a part of his attempt to release Jesus he had him scourged and then presented him to the people. “Behold your king!” I’ve always thought that by doing this Pilate was either trying to stir the crowd to pity Jesus or make Christ look a laughingstock. Either way, through the tears or the laughter of the crowd, Pilate probably thought he could talk the people into relenting. I’m sure there are as many “what-if” scenarios out there regarding this as there are believers who’ve ever given the matter any thought. But its what Pilate did that really counts, isn’t it? He had Jesus scourged. His intentions were good, or seem to be good. He WAS trying to release Jesus. But was having him scourged the right way to go about it?

Every day we are faced with choices. Sometimes, probably most of the time, it can be so easy to go along with the world. We might even make an excuse for worldly actions that sounds righteous. “I’ll go along with this, its no big thing. Maybe, if I do this, it’ll help people realize that Christianity and being Christian isn’t all stuffy and uptight.” Sometimes going along with the world can even be given an evangelistic flair. Bluntly, there seems to be a lot of this going around. But the faith still gets compromised, and that’s just one more way to scourge Jesus.

What we do is up to us. We can act like the kings and priests we are, which is what Jesus did, or we can follow along after the other guy like Pilate did.

“And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:1, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … “By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Matthew 7:16. And having said that … Today I go see the oncologist for my regular blood work and checkup. I’d appreciate prayers, please, for my continued remission. Thank you. 🙂

The Down Times

A Rosary Meditation: The First Sorrowful Mystery, The Agony in the Garden.

“Then he said to them, ‘My soul is sad, even unto death. Wait here and watch with me.’ ” Matthew 26:38.

Have you ever been so down that you just wanted to die? If you can answer yes, and most folks probably can, then you have an idea how Jesus felt. Maybe we can’t grasp the “why” he felt this way because we’ve never carried the weight of the worlds sins on our shoulders, but we can understand in part the “how” he felt.

Calvary continues to this day. It actually began with the Passover meal a little earlier. The sacrifice of his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, began there with the first Mass. So he still carries the weight of the worlds sin doesn’t he? The Mass continues, doesn’t it? Yes, he still carries the weight of the worlds sin and he always will. That’s because he’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. ( See Hebrews 13:8. ) If he carries that same weight today do you think he might still need a little company? “Wait here and watch with me.” The Apostles were about to desert him. He knew that. He still wanted them with him. We’re just as far removed from perfection as they were, maybe more. That’s not the point, is it?

When you’re down, and I mean really down, down in such a way that from a worldly perspective you’re down for the count, you’re out, like Jesus was, or like the world thought he was, as he was facing death, what do YOU want? Some might say they’d like to be left alone. But I think that what they’re really saying is that they don’t want to be bothered. Their mind is to filled with the problem(s) at hand. I’ve felt like this and you probably have to. I wanted to be left alone. I didn’t want advice, and I certainly didn’t want that smiling Pollyanna attitude with the hollow, “Oh, its going to be OK!” Because I knew it wasn’t OK, and it wasn’t going to be OK. Some things just are what they are. And they aren’t good. But I did want someone with me. At a slight distance maybe, but I wanted to know they were there, that they cared enough to be there with me, silently, but where I could see them. Like Jesus leaving the Apostles there in the garden, walking a little way apart. Things like this prove his humanity. And ours as well.

The next time a friend is having a hard time we might all like to remember that our being there with them is sometimes all that’s needed. And when we’re sitting at home with nothing to do ( I know that this can be a rare occurrence for most people but it does happen. ) and we know that the Church is empty we might like to think about it even more. Because when its empty? It isn’t.

“Jesus Christ, yesterday, and to day; and the same for ever.” Hebrews 13:8, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … Some times we honestly don’t have time for Adoration. God knows you have to take care of the kids and run that errand. But how many of us don’t have the time to go into our room, shut the door, place ourselves spiritually before the Tabernacle ( just hold it in your minds eye while you hold him in your heart ), and spend five minutes of loving silence before the crucifix? When we’re down what would five minutes of love mean to us? What does it mean to him?

P.S … I went to see the neurosurgeon the other day for a checkup and all goes well. The healing of the back and etc. continues as it should. I’m still technically down for another six or seven weeks, but I ain’t out. 😉

Owning the pain

A Rosary Meditation: The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery, The Crucifixion.

“And when they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him.” Luke 23:34

That’s a pretty blunt statement, isn’t it? They went where they were going and they did what they set out to do. No frills, no attempt to mask the event is phrases meant to cover up what otherwise ought to be obvious.

People do that a lot, don’t we? Make long explanations, rationalizations, whatever it takes to cover up suffering, or at least tone it down so that it doesn’t seem all that bad. Or if it is all that bad the hurting gets lost in the multitude of words and so shoved aside. Which, being human, is where we want suffering. Pushed aside and covered up so we don’t have to look at it, even if the covering is nothing more than words.

The truth of the matter is that, when it comes to our own daily crucifixions, we are where we are in our life (like Jesus being lead to Golgotha, he was where he was) and we hurt (like Jesus hurt when they crucified him). Now our sufferings don’t compare for the simple reason that we aren’t carrying the weight of the worlds sins as he did. But, again, being human, we carry loads that in the moment seem just as hurtful to us. And we, or those around us, start talking in an effort to mask over the situation. Sometimes we even go Pollyanna. Personally, and I do my own fair share of covering up pain and painful circumstances, I can’t stand Pollyanna any more than I can pain. But some of the folks around me over the past few years seem to thrive on it.

We don’t like pain or having to face it. But that’s the only real way to deal with it. Anything else is denial and that leads no where other than more pain. Jesus, while being lead to his crucifixion, wasn’t making excuses and trying to make things look not so bad. They were bad and he dealt with it. “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.” But he realized all to well exactly what was going on.

When we’re confronted with painful experiences turning a blind eye, or trying to smooth things over in a comforting way, doesn’t help in the long run. The blunt statement, “I hurt”, does. It puts us in a place where we can work on the thing, even if its a matter of dieing, rather than suffering all the more for not having done what needed to be done.

“I can do all these things in him who strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … While we’re bloody and beaten, exactly how much good does it do us to pray, “Oh, I’m OK Lord. This is no big deal, nothing really.” Taking our minds off our pain for a breather, to relax, to regroup, is one thing. Denial is another. What strengths do we cheat ourselves out of when we try to be strong on our own?

Going home to Mother’s

A Rosary Meditation: The Fourth Glorious Mystery, The Assumption.

“Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon earth.” Judith 13:23.

While the above verse wasn’t necessarily written with Mary in mind it does fit, doesn’t it? And I’d add a little to it. ” … above all women upon earth and in heaven.”

At some point in time we’re all, each and every one of us, die. And we’ll all go home when that happens. Right now, in this life, we get to work on which address will be ours. But that’s another post. Right now we’ll figure we’re going to the right address and go from there.

Jesus said that in his Father’s house were many mansions and he was going to get a place ready for us. In my mind he got the place ready on the cross at Calvary. But it occurs to me that his Father’s house is his Mother’s house too. She is, after all, Queen of Heaven and earth. And she was assumed into Heaven at the end of her time here on earth. When we go home we’ll really be going home. We’ll be going home to Mother’s. Just think about that for a minute. We’ll be at home, His, hers, and ours. We’ll be with Mother Mary. We’ll get to set at her feet and listen to her just as Jesus did as a child. And we’ll learn and grow just as any other child would. But with a difference. This learning and growing will be perfect, just as our Heavenly Father is perfect. And our Heavenly Mother, who has gone on ahead and waits for us now.

So as you’re out and about today remember home, your real one, and think about what it’ll be like to live with Mom.

“Jesus answered, and said to him: If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him.” John 14:23, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … We’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Destination

A Rosary Meditation: The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, The Carrying of the Cross.

“And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha.” John 19:17, Douay-Rheims.

We all have crosses, don’t we? And sometimes we dwell on them. That’s normal up to a point. Its OK to be human. It may as well be OK because we’re going to be human regardless. A lot of attention is paid to crosses. Maybe not so much attention is paid to what they do for us. We’re to intent on what they do TO us. So lets pay attention to something other than the cross and what its doing to us for just a minute. Lets look instead at what it does FOR us, where it takes us.

Destination. We all live and die and do what we do in between but very few seem to think much about the journeys end. Oh, I’m not talking about death here. That’s too obvious. I’m talking about our destination here in this life as we carry our cross. The ends we come to in our earthly journey. I say “ends” plural because laying down one cross at the place it takes us to usually means we pick up another and head for the next destination, the one this new cross is meant to carry us to.

The destination it (our current cross) is meant to carry us to. You see, its not just that we carry crosses. Its that they carry us as well. They carry us on to our next destination, our next stop in this life. They carry us because they create the circumstances needed to prod us on. Where would we be without them? Jesus’ cross took him to Calvary. Where would we be without his? Your cross might take you to hospital, or to court, or to any number of things, people, places, and situations. Lots of destinations aren’t anymore comfortable than the cross itself. But try not going to hospital when you need to, or stay away from court regardless the subpoena. What’s that get us? Where does that get us? It gets us crosses that could’ve been avoided. Some we need to get us from here to there. Others we pick up all on our own.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24, Douay-Rheims.

Jesus’ cross was necessary, it was needed. Maybe a hospital cross or court cross is something necessary and needed for us. Maybe we need to go where they take us.