Friday, January 16, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009 ~ Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Note: These Sunday & Holy Day Gospel Reflections are written so that mothers may prepare for Holy Mass in advance either as a small group or individually (especially since we are so often necessarily distracted during Mass itself).

John 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” — which translated means Teacher —,
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah” — which is translated Christ —.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas” — which is translated Peter.


On the way home from our first Little Flowers Girls Club meeting today, Therese asked me what is my favorite virtue. This was a profound question, and in true teacher style, she gave me a few examples to help me along. Is it sharing? Is it caring? Never mind that the nine virtues we are learning this year are faith, hope, love of God, love of neighbor, obedience, piety, humility, industry, and truthfulness. It was only our first meeting, after all!

I had no doubt of my answer - Love of God! She did not ask me to explain, but I will try anyway. The Gospel for this Sunday extends an invitation to us. Jesus says, "Come and see." He does not simply reply to these men that he is staying at such and such's home near such and such. He invites them to be with him, apparently long into the afternoon, and they accept this spontaneous invitation. Do we?

Oh, how I would gladly spend a day with my Jesus! To sit at His feet as Mary of Bethany did and bask in His presence. To listen to every word He speaks but barely lift my head in awestruck silence. To take the time to love Him completely while doing absolutely nothing else.

In every tabernacle in the world, He is present, waiting, hoping that we will go see Him. In every quiet corner of our homes, He sits in anticipation for the moment we will go to Him. God's love for us and desire for us is more passionate than any human love could ever be. All He wants is for us to take the time to "Come and see." When we visit with His love, our love for Him multiplies dramatically.

Yes, our time is precious, and it is not always easy to find quiet moments, much less long afternoons, to spend with the Lord. We have noisy children, after all, and perhaps a husband who is barely home. Nevertheless, the absolute importance of setting aside time to be with Him is vital to our sanctification.

Can you commit to an hour a week in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament? You must. Can you commit to fifteen or thirty minutes a day of silent mental prayer? Make it a habit. I do not mean praying the Rosary, which is efficacious indeed, or spiritual reading during this time. The Lord wants us to talk with Him, listen to Him, simply worship Him. If you need to ask a friend to watch your children while you pray, maybe you can do the same for her.

I cannot tell you how profound a Holy Hour has been for me over the years. It has always been and remains a struggle to find the time to go to the chapel for a whole hour, but it is a priority. When I make the hour and spend that time with Jesus, my life is different. I love Him more.

Last year, my wise pastor told me that I needed to be in Adoration for one hour and fifteen minutes each week. This was apparently something that Archbishop Fulton Sheen taught, that it takes an hour for us to get the octopus of the world off of our backs before we can truly be alone with God. This wisdom brought amazing graces to me every time I stayed those extra fifteen minutes. Try it.

"Behold the Lamb of God." He waits for you.

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