Thought for the Week
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER
September 9-15, 2018
It is interesting to note that one of the few miracles that Jesus performed for the Gentiles occurs in today’s Gospel of Mark 7: 31-37. The people of the Decapolis area brought him a deaf man with a speech impediment. At their request he cured the man. These Gentiles proclaimed, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” This miracle and others fulfilled the Prophet Isaiah’s words about the Savior, “Here is your God; he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing…” Isaiah 35: 4-7 Though Jesus did not preach to the Gentiles, he prepared and instructed his apostles and disciples to carry the Word to the ends of the earth.
St. James shares an important teaching of Jesus about the manner in which we should treat others. If a rich person and a poor person enter the room and you treat the rich person with difference and the poor person as a servant, have you not violated equity and judged another with evil designs? All are called to embrace the faith and be heirs of the Kingdom, regardless of their standing. James 2: 1-5 Only one thing is required, “To love as Jesus has loved us.” John 15: 12
Our names are very important to us. Parents spend hours discussing what they should name their baby. Someone once said that one way to choose a name is to go to the back porch and holler the name about thirty times, since that is probably what you will be doing for the next eighteen years. It is amusing to remember that you always knew when you were in serious trouble, when your Mom called you by your full name. It is important to pronounce and get people’s names correctly. It is hurtful when we call people names that are not appropriate, as is often done in bullying. A very beautiful name is Mary or Maria, so we honor the name of Jesus’ Mother, Mary on Wednesday – the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary.
In the 5th century St. John Chrysostom, the Golden Mouthed One, was tricked into accepting the bishopric of Constantinople. He couldn’t stand the pomp and circumstances of the political and the papal court. He spoke against the extravagance of the clergy and the overindulgence of Empress Eudoxia, who plotted to remove him from power. He supported the poor and preached even up to two hours on Scripture and Theology. He died in exile. FranciscanMedia.com
On Friday the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is honored. During the 4th century St. Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine traveled to Jerusalem to visit the holy places of Jesus’ life. When she heard that the 2nd century Temple of Aphrodite was built over the tomb of Jesus, she had it razed to the ground. Her son built the Church of the Holy Sepulcher over the spot. During the excavation three crosses were discovered; when miracles began to occur with one of them, it was declared the cross of Jesus Christ. To this day Christians honor relics from this cross with a kiss; some touch their forehead to it and gaze upon it with love. FranciscanMedia.com
Saturday is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Having just celebrated the Feast of the Holy Cross, we can understand why we now remember Mary’s many sorrows. It is always a tragedy when a child dies before its parents, but even more so when one is murdered and treated as a criminal. For such parents the Sorrowful Mother is a consolation.
May the Blessed Virgin Mary be our support during sad and tragic times,
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF, Director