“Beginning with the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the wave-offering sheaf, you shall count seven full weeks, and then on the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day, you shall present the new cereal offering to the LORD.” (LV 23: 15-16
The calendar is full of meetings with the Lord, with details about counting, when to start and what to bring to the Lord. Even if we use different calendars: the academic year, the meteorological year, the hunting year and so many others, we should remember that our calendar and our days are always to bring us closer to Our Lord and to make us stronger believers. Not only His words, but He Himself is also with us forever–in every particular day, and hour, and minute, and second.
“The word of the Lord remains forever; this is the word that has been proclaimed to you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Moses did exactly as the LORD had commanded him.” (EX 40: 16)
Moses had a huge respect for God’s commands. He took care of all the details, all the elements and every measurement. He acted at a precise time and place with all of these elements, just to prepare a space for God’s presence. We also can prepare ourselves for our meeting with God: the right time, the right place, the right intention and the right will to listen and to serve.
“Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him.” (JN 11: 20)
Martha was always listening to Our Lord, always ready to go wherever Jesus was. She was more practical than her sister, but it doesn’t mean she was less loving to Him. It doesn’t matter which way we are using to go to Jesus—contemplation or action, as long as He is the center of our lives.
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The tent, which was called the meeting tent, Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp. Anyone who wished to consult the LORD would go to this meeting tent outside the camp.” (EX 33: 7)
“Anyone who wished to consult the Lord would go to this meeting tent outside the camp.” It is important to go “outside the camp,” to speak outside my position or my situation. I am not looking for a solution which is good for me in my particular situation; I am looking for a solution which is God’s will. “Some distance away” is my local church, or maybe our home’s “meeting tent” is in our bedroom or in our living room. When we “go to this meeting tent,” we declare that we are ready to go with Our Lord and to Our Lord, who is the way.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” (MK 13: 33)
It is so difficult to speak about something which is completely spiritual in our language. This is the reason why Our Lord decided to speak in parables: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.” Three measures were enough to feed 100 hundred people. This enormous amount points to the greatness of the Kingdom. It reminds us that the fruits come from God and from us—our agreement to work with God.
“The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing to Elisha, the man of God, twenty barley loaves made from the firstfruits, and fresh grain in the ear. Elisha said, ‘Give it to the people to eat.’ But his servant objected, ‘How can I set this before a hundred people?’ Elisha insisted, ‘Give it to the people to eat.’ ‘For thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’ And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the LORD had said.” (2 KGS 4: 42-44}
The power of God’s word and the power of faith. For Elisha,what God said was more important than the objection of his servant: “How can I set this before a hundred people?” The same miracle we will see in Jesus life. Now we have different bread, which is Our Lord’s body, and this is much more than just for living–it is for our eternal life. If our daily lives are so important to God, how much more will He take care of our spiritual lives.
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst. God has visited his people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;…
always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.” (2 KOR 4: 7-8.10)
Today is the feast of St. James. But meditating Our Lord’s word for today, I can’t stop thinking about our brother, Fr. Darek, who has experienced in himselfthese words: “carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus.” The cancer is eating his body piece by piece, and at any moment he could die. He is so young, and only a priest for 2 years, and from the beginning of his priesthood, he has been very limited in his service because of cancer. We strongly believe “that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in his body,” and our vocation as priests is more to be unified with Him than to work for Him. And being with Him is so “that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.”
“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord”. (Gospel Acclamation)
“But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” (MK 13: 23)
Mother Teresa from Calcutta used to say that God expects from us not success but faithfulness. Our vocation to “bear fruit” is not about “production” but about “hearing the word and understanding it,” and from this and from perseverance comes a yield: “a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (MT 13: 16-17)
The privilege of discipleship—to see and to hear the most important message from Our Lord: we are God’s children, we are unconditionally loved, and God gave us His only begotten Son not only to redeem us but also to invite us to the most intimate relationship with God the Father and to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. For this we need new and blessed eyes and new and blessed ears. Only those who are able to see God’s Son, the Second Person in the Holy Trinity, in the Child Jesus can recognize God’s merciful love in the Cross.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord,’ and then reported what he told her.” (JN 20: 18)
Tradition called Mary Magdalene the Apostle to the Apostles. The only reason she was sent by Our Lord with her mission to the Apostles was that she was there. And the reason she was there was–she loved Him so much, and she was in a panic when He disappeared. “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Even if it was beyond her abilities—“I will take him,” she would like to be with Him. We can take Our Lord with us wherever we go by receiving Him into our hearts in Holy Communion. “I will take him.”
“Tell us Mary, what did you see on the way? I saw the glory of the risen Christ, I saw his empty tomb.” (Gospel Acclamation)