Thought for the Week



February 10-16, 2019


In the Catholic Mass there is the beautiful prayer, “Holy, holy, holy Lord God…” In today’s Mass this Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Isaiah 6: 3 gives the source of this prayer, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!” So much of the Mass is filled with Scripture, so that from early childhood we are imbued with the Word of God.  How blessed we are!


As much as I dislike the use of the words, “ordinary time,” I know it is just a term to separate the Church calendar from the most festive times like Christmas and Easter.  However, this is an excellent time in which the Mass readings are all about Jesus’ ministry. Today’s reading from Luke 5: 1-11 introduces Jesus’ teaching at Lake Gennesaret from the boat of Simon, later Peter.  Simon’s obedience to Jesus’ request to toss the nets overboard yielded a ton of fish, which almost sank two boats.  So astounded were the men, Simon, James and John, that they followed Jesus to become fishers of men.  What a stunning image that we, as Christians, can also follow this call. We can cast the Word of God out among people, hoping they will catch this Word and put it into practice.


Today is World Marriage Day. Married couples can renew their vows and review their life in Christ. Christ has a special place in his heart for married people, as we saw a few weeks ago at the wedding feast at Cana. This is also a good time to include the children in some part of this celebration. 


Monday the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is celebrated.  The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Bernadette, a poor girl, in France in 1858.  While walking in the woods, she came across a dirty grotto, which was called the pig’s sty.  It is in this ugly hole that a beautiful young woman appeared to Bernadette some sixteen times.  This same hole became the location of a wonderful, clear and clean spring of water from which millions have been cured of both spiritual and physical illnesses.  The imagery is breathtaking; Jesus can heal the most disgusting and ugly sin.  We but need to turn to his Mother who will intercede for us.  When the bishop asked for her name, she said, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”  Four years before the pope had declared this a dogma of faith. This apparition verified it.


Very little is known about St. Valentine. He might have been an Italian priest or bishop in the third century. The legend credits him with performing marriages in defiance of the Roman emperor’s ban meant to keep single men available as soldiers. As an aside, this seems to indicate married men weren’t enlisted. While imprisoned, he cured the blind daughter of a pagan guard. Before he was beheaded he sent a note to the girl and signed it, “From your Valentine.”  Ancient Rome use to hold the festival of fertility around this time.  The Church counteracted this practice with the creation of St. Valentine’s Day. Valentine notes seem to date around the 1400’s. Heart of the Nation Newsletter


May this week bring you many hours of friendly and loving relationships blessed by Jesus.


Sister Rosemarie Goins, Director