Wed, 10 February 2021
O lovely Lady who appeared to Bernadette,
Mary, Blessed Virgin and Mother of our Lord –
let our eyes, too, see your beauty
and hear your voice
calling us to pray for sinners,
calling us to come to you with our prayers
and to wash ourselves clean
in the water you provide
through Jesus your Son.
O Immaculate Conception,
so pure, so full of grace,
cleanse all our sickness from us;
let us be immersed
in the bath of purity
that washes us of sin,
that makes us whole
in the sight of God.
If we but had innocent hearts
we would see you,
we would remember the blessing you are
to all faithful souls…
O let us come to you
and find the grace we need this day.
Wed, 10 February 2021
(Gn.2:18-25; Ps.128:1-5; Mk.7:24-30)
“A man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one body.”
And Jesus leaves His Father’s side and His mother’s care, and takes to wife His chosen people. From His side indeed we are born, and become His holy family.
To the “sons of the household” Jesus comes; among the Israelites He walks, calling them to His table to eat the food of eternal life, of eternal union with Him and His Father. Those who were conceived by God, who were taken as a rib from His own side and formed as His special bride, Jesus seeks to bring to full nuptial blessing in Him. For this He would even die (as any man should for his wife). But one “approached Him and crouched at His feet” who was not among those called to the “table first,” who was not of the family of the Chosen. Unfazed by His rebuff she continues begging, not for “the food of the children” but just for their “leavings,” their crumbs, knowing even this will be enough to join her to His banquet, believing only a word from His mouth will save her own daughter from the devil’s clutches and bring her to His sacred presence.
And moved is He by her who is unmoved by His rebuke. And so, “when she got home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.” And so she finds herself and her family wed to Jesus the Christ. Why? Because she is one who does indeed “fear the Lord,” who does in fact “walk in His ways”; crawling on her knees before Him, she finds herself “happy” and “favored,” eating “the fruit of [her] handiwork.” She knows she is not one of the “wild animals” or of the “birds of the air”: she is made in God’s image, a human being, and is inextricably drawn to His side, the side from which she has been born… and thus she finds her life and becomes with her daughter (with all us Gentile people) one of the “olive plants around [His] table,” grafted onto His “fruitful vine.”
Let man love woman as his own flesh, and let all men love one another as fellow children, for our Father in heaven loves us all much more greatly and draws us all to be wed to Him through our Bridegroom, His only Son. As His side is opened by the lance and so we His Church are born in His blood, washed clean by His holy water, so let husbands give themselves for their wives, knowing they are “taken from” their own sides. Yes, let us all die for one another that the love of God might extend to “the recesses of [His] home,” from which no soul is excluded. In His blessed marriage feast let us all shout for joy!
O LORD, blessed are those
who humble themselves before you;
they shall be joined to you.
YHWH, flesh of your flesh we are; flesh of your flesh let us be, wed to you through the flesh of your only Son. One with you let us dwell forever, for from you our very lives taken.
And help us thus to love one another, LORD. If you love us so much to give us yourself, let us then reflect your love and so give ourselves for the sake of others. Let husbands love their wives and all souls serve the needs of others, finding great joy and blessing in thus serving your will.
To your table let all come, LORD, that they might share the food of your children, the Bread that is Jesus your Son, the Word that is your Spirit. May all souls recognize the greatness and the goodness of Him who walks among us, and may we be hidden with Him in you and so become your fruitful children. In faith let us be born and live in you and with you forever; let none be alone or apart from you.