Archive for the ‘Annunciation’ Category

The Old Covenant’s (Surprising) Last Seven Prophets

May 6, 2016

A prophet is someone enlightened by God to reveal his message. Each Sunday, we familiarly proclaim that the Holy Spirit has “spoken through the prophets,” but the identities of the seven last Old Covenant prophets (as seen in the Bible) may well surprise you.

#7 :  The Author of 2nd Maccabees

Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament, yet the Bible’s books do not always appear in chronological order. Our separated Protestant brethren would identify Malachi as the last prophetic book in the Old Testament, but the Church’s Bible includes seven books which they exclude. The last of these is 2nd Maccabees, written during the 1st century BC.

The author of 2nd Maccabees, who chronicles the Jews’ successful rebellion against their Greek persecutors, does not seem to know he writes by divine inspiration. In his closing remarks he adds, “If [this story] is well written and to the point, that is what I wanted; if it is poorly done and mediocre, that is the best I could do.” (15:38) However, neither does St. Paul appear to grasp that his letters to the churches would be revered on the level of Genesis, Joshua, or Daniel. This shows that God can use us in amazing ways, in perfect accord with his will, even if we fail to recognize it at the time.

#6 & #5 :  St. Zachariah & St. Elizabeth

The Visitation by BlocZachariah and his wife, Elizabeth, are old and childless. But the Archangel Gabriel appears to Zachariah in the Temple and says that they shall have a son. Although he knows that God has blessed with children elderly and barren couples of old, Zachariah disbelieves the message. In response, he is put on a forty-week silent retreat. Zachariah becomes mute and apparently deaf as well (since his neighbors and relatives will later resort to making gestures to ask him the name of his newborn son.) Though he cannot tell his pregnant wife of their unborn son’s great mission, Elizabeth receives insights from the Holy Spirit.

When she hears the greeting of her visiting relative, Elizabeth is “filled with the holy Spirit” and cries out in a loud voice, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” The Blessed Virgin’s belly has not yet begun to grow, but Elizabeth prophesies and confirms to Mary that she is indeed pregnant with a boy who is “the Lord.” (Luke 1)

The Holy Spirit also seems to reveal to Elizabeth the name of her child: “John,” a name unfamiliar to her family. At the naming ceremony, Zechariah regains his voice, confirms her word, and “filled with the holy Spirit, prophesie[s]” through the canticle which bears his name. This holy, prophetic couple would ready their son for the great mission prepared for him by God.

#4 :  The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner, Philadelphia, 1898.The Archangel Gabriel declared unto Mary that she would conceive the Son of God by the Holy Spirit. But is Mary a prophetess? Unlike Elizabeth and Zachariah, Luke’s Gospel does not say Mary, “filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied,” or “filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice.” However, as Fr. Raymond Brown observed, the Annunciation to Mary shares the biblical form of a prophetic calling (like those of Moses, Gideon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel before her):

(1) An Encounter with God or His Angel
(2) An Introductory Word
(3) A Call or Commission
(4) Objection(s) to the Message
(5) Reassurance by God or His Angel
(6) A Sign is Given

In her later canticle, Blessed Mary speaks a prophesy which remains fulfilled in our midst: “Behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.” Mary is a prophetess, filled with the Holy Spirit, who bears God’s Word.

Simeon Holding the Baby Jesus in the Temple as His Parents Look On#3 & #2 :  St. Simeon & St. Anna

When the baby Jesus’ parents brought him to the Temple for the first time, they were met by Simeon and Anna; she was “a prophetess” and  “[t]he holy Spirit was upon him.” Simeon “came in the Spirit into the temple,” took Jesus in his arms, and declared him “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” Anna likewise came forward at that very time and “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2)

Simeon may have been advanced in years, but “it had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.” Anna, for her part, was an eighty-four-year-old widow who “never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.” Anna and Simeon show us how the old can bless the young through sharing the word of the Lord they have personally come to know.

#1 :  St. John the Baptist

St. John the Baptist PreachingWe do not know exactly how many Old Covenant prophets God inspired after the author of 2nd Maccabees. (A case might be made for the Bethlehem shepherds and the Magi as well.)  But we do know that John the Baptist represents the last Old Covenant prophet, the forerunner to the New Covenant Christ. He is “more than a prophet,” Jesus says. “All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. … Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11)

At baptism, each Christian is entrusted with a prophetic mission. As those enlightened with God’s ultimate revelation, we are to share this Word. As great as it is to proclaim Christ’s coming, to proclaim his triumph is still greater.

Something God Can’t Do — March 25 — Annunciation

March 26, 2014

Despite God’s infinite power, he cannot force our free choice to love him. (It is a limitation of logic, not of power, that free-choices cannot be forced.) The Lord can invite and beckon, grant gifts of wisdom and liberation, but only we can give our “Yes.”

God accepts our sacrifices and offerings, but even more than what we have he desires the gift of what we are — that is, who we are — our very selves.

The Church is both Christian and Marian. The faithful say, “Not my will, Father, but yours be done” and “Let it be done unto me according to your word.”

God’s kingdom will come in its fullness even despite our stubborn “No” or, in part, because of our free “Yes.” However, let us answer, “Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will,” so that we may personally share his glory, like Mary and Gabriel do today.

Teddy Bear Annunciation

March 25, 2014

HHS Mandate Court Date Set

March 19, 2014

The Annunciation by Fra AngelicoThe Supreme Court has set the date for oral arguments for Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the Obama HHS mandate. The nation’s highest court will hear debate from attorneys representing the Christian-owned business and the Obama administration on Tuesday, March 25 at 10 a.m.”

March 25th is the Feast of the Annunciation, when the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived our Lord.

The New Eve — December 8 — Immaculate Conception

December 8, 2010

In the beginning, when our first parents fell, they lost a great deal, but they were not deprived of hope, for God spoke in their hearing a prophesy to the deceiving serpent, the devil. God said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” Who is this offspring, who strikes back at the devil? He is Jesus the Christ, the New Adam, the Son of God. And who is this woman, who is Satan’s enemy? She is Mary of Nazareth, the New Eve, the Immaculate Conception.

After their Fall, when Adam and Eve heard God approaching in the garden, they became afraid, they fled and hid, so God called out, “Where are you?” When God drew near to Mary, she also was afraid, but she did not hide or flee. She declared, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” And, because she did, her Holy Offspring could go on to say in His garden of testing, “Father… not my will but yours be done.”

The first man, Adam, called the first woman Eve, because she became the mother of all the living. Now, Mary is the New and Second Eve, for she is the mother of all the living, and she loves each one of us personally as her very own children.

She is the icon of the Church, and as she is, we are called to be: holy and without blemish before God, as the second reading from Ephesians says. But how can we do this? Unlike Mary, at times we have been allies of Satan by our sins. To cleanse us, God gives us the sacrament of reconciliation, and to strengthen us He gives us the fruit from the new tree of life; that tree is the cross, and its fruit is the Eucharistic Christ.

If it has been a long time since you have been to confession, come that you may be purified as pure as Mary. And if you receive our Lord in the Eucharist tonight, consider that the Son of God Incarnate has come to dwell in you, just as truly as He dwelt in Mary.

Everything Awaits Her Reply

November 20, 2010

From a homily ‘In Praise of the Virgin Mother’ by St. Bernard of Clairvaux:

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.

Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord,” she says, “be it done to me according to your word.”

The Joyful Mysteries, Meditations with the Saints

October 28, 2010

The 1st Joyful Mystery: 
The Annunciation

The Blessed Virgin Mary may have been just 13 years old when the angel Gabriel announced to her that she would give birth to Jesus. She shows us that even if you are young, God can still do big things with you, if you say “Yes” to Him.

On May 13, 1917, three Portuguese children were praying the rosary after lunch in a field on a clear blue day.  The eldest was Lucia, age 10, and she was with her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta, ages eight and seven. Suddenly, they saw two bright flashes. They looked up and saw “a lady, clothed in white, brighter than the sun…” The Lady smiled and said, “Do not be afraid, I will not harm you.” Lucia asked her where she came from. The Lady pointed to the sky and said, “I come from heaven.” Lucia asked what she wanted. The Lady said, “I have come to ask you to come here for six months on the 13th day of the month, at this same hour.”

On July 13, the incredibly beautiful Lady appeared again. Lucia asked her who she was, and for a miracle so everyone would believe. The Lady answered, “Continue to come here every month. In October, I will tell you who I am and what I want, and I will perform a miracle for all to see and believe.” Then she taught them this prayer: “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy Mercy.”

At noon, on October 13, 1917, some 70,000 people were gathered in the field. With a flash of light, the Lady appeared to the children and declared, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” Some spectators cried out and the crowd turned their eyes upward to the cloudless sky, and they gazed on the sun without the least discomfort.  They saw it tremble and danced in a miraculous way.

Mary, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta teach us this lesson: Even if you are young, God can do big things with you, if you say “Yes” to Him. Let us pray that we would be open to doing God’s will every day.

The 2nd Joyful Mystery:
The Visitation

“During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.’” (Luke 1)

Imagine how St. Elizabeth must have felt to have Mary, Mother of God, walk in through her door. Elizabeth could not see the tiny Jesus, a fetus in Mary’s womb, but she was convinced that He was hidden there. How would you treat someone if you knew that Jesus was hidden inside of them?

Blessed Mother Theresa cared for the poorest of the poor in the streets of Calcutta, India. Despite years of strenuous physical, emotional and spiritual work, Mother Teresa seemed unstoppable. Though frail and bent, with numerous health problems, she always returned to her work, to those who received her compassionate care for more than 50 years. How did she do it? She could do it because she encountered her beloved Christ both in times of prayer and in the people she cared for. Mother Teresa remembered Jesus’ words, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) Mother Teresa loved others as if they were the Lord Himself.

Blessed Mother Teresa and St. Elizabeth teach us this lesson: Jesus is present in your classmates here at school, so you should always be welcoming and loving toward them. Let us pray for the grace to love others in this way.

The 3rd Joyful Mystery:
The Nativity

In his youth, Francis had been quite rich, the son of a wealthy merchant, yet he sensed that there was more to life. He put his former life behind him and devoted himself to following Christ. One day, at Mass, the Gospel told of how Christ’s disciples were to possess neither gold nor silver, nor traveling items, but were to exhort sinners to repentance and announce the Kingdom of God. Francis took these words as if spoken directly to himself, and as soon as Mass was over he threw away what little he had and went forth at once, exhorting the people of the country-side to penance, brotherly love, and peace. He was poor, but clearly happy, and others were attracted to join his movement. By the time of his death, hundreds had joined his religious order. On October 3, 1226, St. Francis died a penniless, but happy man. 

St. Francis of Assisi loved Christmas.  In fact, one story tells of how he petitioned the Holy Roman Emperor to make an edict that grain and bread should be provided to birds, beasts, and the poor this day, so that all God’s creatures would have occasion to rejoice in the Lord. St. Francis also invented the Christmas tradition of making a model of the nativity scene. These nativity scenes, called Crèches, remind us that even though Christ was rich in Heaven, he became poor when he was born on earth in a barn. Yet, Jesus was a happy man, despite his poverty.

Jesus and St. Francis teach us this lesson: You do not need to be wealthy in order to be happy. Let us pray that we may be content and happy with the riches that we have.

The 4th Joyful Mystery: 
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

In the year that Jesus was born, “there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout” and he longed to see the Messiah who would save God people. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would indeed see the Christ before he died and Simeon trusted and hoped in that promise.

One day, the Spirit inspired him to come into the temple. When he say Mary and Joseph carrying in the baby Jesus to offer a sacrifice for Him, Simeon “took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: ‘Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.’” (Luke 2)

What are the promises the Lord has made to us?  Do we trust and hope in these promises? Simeon teaches us this lesson: That we ought to trust and hope in the Lord’s promises, for all of them will be fulfilled in the sight of all someday.

The 5th Joyful Mystery:
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

This is a true story, the story of a Catholic mother of three whose oldest son joined an anti-Catholic religious cult. It started him down a path of sinful pride and many sensual sins. It broke her heart and for years she prayed tearful prayers for his conversion.

She even asked the bishop to intervene in winning over her son. He counseled her to be patient, saying, “God’s time will come.” When she persisted in asking, the bishop (perhaps busy with many other things) famously reassured her: “Go now, I beg you; it is impossible that the son of so many tears should perish.”

That mother was St. Monica, and that son of hers, who was lost and found, was the great St. Augustine. Sts. Monica and Augustine teach us this lesson: that your persistent prayer can help people to find Christ. Let us pray for someone that we know, that he or she may be drawn closer to Jesus Christ.

Sources:
On Fatima
On St. Francis
On Blessed Mother Teresa

Gospel Movies

July 1, 2010

Below are five original shorts drawn from the Scriptures. Click the images to watch them.

Teddy Bear Annunciation


The Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary; the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, with teddy bears.

Robot Jesus at the Watering Hole

 
Jesus meets the woman at the well; the Gosple of John, chapter 4, starring robots.

The Rich Young Rapper

 
A rich young rapper questions Jesus on the subway; a remix of Matthew, chapter 19 and Mark, chapter 10.  

Doubting Thomas

 The resurrected Christ appears to a skeptical disciple in the Gospel of John, chapter 20.

The Importance of the Resurrection


From St. Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 15.

Rejoice, Daughter Zion! — The Visitation

June 2, 2010

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Icon of Israel and the Icon of the Church. Mary is the bridge between the Old and New Testaments and we can discover her in both. Whenever we encounter positive descriptions of “Jerusalem,” “Zion,” “Daughter Zion,” or “Israel” in the Old Testament, or praises of “Mother Church” today, these words often apply quite fittingly to Mary as well. Today’s first reading is a great example of this. But before returning there, let me share with you this interesting detail. Even though we traditionally pray, “Hail Mary, Full of Grace,” the Archangel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary at the Annunciation [“Chaire” in Greek] literally means , “Rejoice… Full of Grace!” Now hear again the words from the Book of Zephaniah:

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!

In today’s Gospel, Mary fulfills these words, glad and exulting with all her heart:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
My spirit rejoices in God my savior

Zephaniah says:

The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.

And Mary agrees:

He has mercy on those who fear Him
In every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

Earlier, at the Annunciation, when the angel Gabriel came to Mary, He said to her:

“Hail, [Rejoice,] full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

As Zephaniah foretells,

On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;

And the angel says to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus,” a name which means, “God saves.”

Zephaniah foretold of the Lord’s pleasure in Mary,

He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.

The Lord rejoices over Mary, and Mary in her Lord. Let us always remember, that the Lord rejoices over us as well. Despite our sins and failings, we are the Church, the new Israel, and whatever one can say of Mary usually applies quite fittingly to us as well. Mary is the icon of the Church, the sign of who we are, and who we are called to be with Christ.

11 Absent Students — March 25 — Annunciation

March 28, 2010

You have probably wondered why our school chapel’s icon, statues, and crucifixes are veiled with purple cloth. Covering of religious images is a tradition for the last two weeks of Lent, a period we call Passiontide. So why do we have this tradition?

One explanation recalls that Jesus’, when His enemies sought to kill Him, hid Himself prior to His final days: “Jesus left and hid from them.” (John 12:36) Others see in this veiling a symbol for how Jesus’ divinity was veiled within His humble and vulnerable humanity. He was God incarnate, but none of the rulers of His age knew, “for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1 Corinthians 2:8) But behind all of this I think there is a very human reason for why we veil the holy images of Jesus and the saints at Passiontide. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

During Lent we deprive ourselves of luxuries and pleasures for our personal conversion and growth in holiness, but we also do this so that we can celebrate the Christ’ Easter triumph with an even greater feeling of joy. This is why we normally don’t sing as much (or say the Gloria or the “A”-word before the Gospel) during Lent—so that we can enjoy pulling out all the stops at Easter.

Veiling our statues of Mary and Joseph, our wall icon of Elizabeth Ann Seton, and our crucifixes causes a little pain of separation within us. But what if this chapel had never been furnished? What if our chapel had always been bare of religious art? Then their absence would not affect us at all because we would not know that we were missing them.

There are not as many students here today as there should be. Now I’m not saying that this should have been a whole school Mass, and I’m not begrudging anyone who may have stayed in study hall this hour to work on homework.  This is a great turn out and every seat is filled. But still, there are not as many students here as should be here today.

In the early nineties, when most of you were born, for every three live births in our country there was one boy or girl who was intentionally killed. (CDC) I counted roughly 33 students here today. That means we are missing 11 of your classmates who were not allowed to be born.

Today we recall the Annunciation, which some people call “Pro-Life Christmas,” for even though Jesus will be born nine months from now, today is the day of the Incarnation, when God became a human being like us in the womb of the Virgin Mary. After the angel Gabriel departed, Mary went in haste to see her relative. Elizabeth exclaimed, “Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me,” and John the Baptist leapt for joy in his mother’s womb in the presence of our microscopic Savior, Jesus Christ. (Luke 1:43-44)

Imagine if 11 of your classmates were to die in a bus accident. You would you feel terrible from the loss, and our whole school would be in mourning. But we have never known the 11 who are missing here today, so we do not feel our loss.

At this Mass and henceforth, let us keep the following things in mind regarding the past, present, and future. As to the past, remember these absent classmates and pray for them. They never received a name, they never had a funeral, and few people have ever prayed for them. Pray for their parents, too. 

In the present, perhaps you honestly find yourself not feeling much emotion one way or the other towards the reality of one million innocents being murdered in our country every year. If so, then ask God to give us His heart and His sight to love what He loves and to hate what He hates. God loves us all, but He hates our sins. He hates our sins because they are bad for us, and the worse they are for us the more He hates them. His love for us and His hatred for our sins are two sides of the same coin. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said “the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion.” The Lord’s heart is certainly not indifferent to this evil, and neither should ours be.

And finally, for the future, keep hope that this evil of abortion will come to an end in our time. We can have this hope, for as the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “nothing will be impossible for God.”

Saying Amen — Golden Mass

December 26, 2009

Can you guess what word I’m thinking of? It’s a Hebrew word… it’s four letters long… and you’ll say it seven times in this (weekday) Mass. Have you got it?  I’ll give you one more hint… It starts with “A” and ends with “Men.” That’s right… “Amen.”

What do we mean when we say “amen”? Sometimes we say “amen” as a declaration of our faith. In this case our “amen” translates to us saying, “I believe it; this is true.” The sign of the cross, the Gloria, and the Creed all end with “amen’s” by which we declare, “This is true.”

At other times, we say “amen” to entrust our prayers (and ourselves) to God. Whenever we come to the end of our prayers, whether we’re alone or in a group, we always conclude by saying “amen.” With this “amen” we are saying, “Please, Lord, let this be done for us.”

What do we mean when we say “amen”? We’re saying “This is true,” as a confident profession of our faith, or we’re entrusting our prayers to God, saying, “Let this be done for us, Lord, according to your will.” That is what we’re saying when we say “Amen.”

Now here’s another riddle… Who was the first Christian, by which I mean, the first person to believe in Jesus Christ? You might be thinking it was John the Baptist, or one of Jesus’ apostles, but it wasn’t. Mary was the first Christian; she was the first person to believe in Jesus Christ. (Adam and Eve believed in the Redeemer, but they did not know His name.)

The angel announced to Mary, ‘Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. …and He will be called the Son of the Most High.’ And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

In a word, Mary said “Amen,” in both senses, to the angel’s message: “I believe it, Lord; let this be done.” With this word, the Second Person of the Trinity took on flesh within her. Jesus the Christ was small within her, but truly present as God and man. Imagine the joy Mary must have experienced as she thought of His presence within her.

Just minutes from now, you will stand before a Eucharistic minister who will say to you, “The Body of Christ.” And you will answer “Amen,” like Mary answered the angel. “Amen, Lord, I believe you that are truly present in the Eucharist,” and, “Amen, Lord, let this be done to me, let me become your body; your presence in the world.”

With this word, you will receive the Christ; small within you, but truly present as God and man. When you return to your pew today consider Jesus’ presence within you and ask Mary that you be given a taste of her joy from the day the Lord first dwelt in her.