“Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day.” (LK 4: 16)
Our Lord’s regularly visited the “synagogue on the sabbath day.” It was “his custom.” Many others like night prayer so often present in His life. How important are our own customs to organize our prayer lives? It is like our rituals to improve our daily, weekly and monthly relationship with our spouse. Without rituals we are limited only to occasions when we find a time for us. Without our customs/rituals in prayer, soon we will be limited only to occasional prayer.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.” (JAS 1: 21-22)
It is a great idea to think about the word as someone, who should be welcomed with all respect, because Our Lord is the Word. And His word “is able to save our souls.” The word “has been planted” in us and needs our protection and cultivation. “Be doers of the word” invites us to listen carefully and implement what we hear in our daily lives.
“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)
“Brothers and sisters: On the subject of fraternal charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.” (1 THES 4: 9)
Fraternal charity should be the way we are recognized by our society: “Look, how they love one another” (Tertullian). We are loved and we should share with others not only our love but also that we are loved. The more we are open to receive, the more we are open to share. It is like being a witness to the world about what is right, like St. John the Baptist, who died protecting marriage.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
“Brothers and sisters, we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that, as you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to please God.” (1THES 4:1)
We are asked to “conduct ourselves to please God.” Every morning we have a new chance to conduct our lives in a right direction—to be more who we are, not to earn more than what we have. We are human beings not human doers. The direction where we go is so important. The direction “to please God,” to make Him smile and be proud of us, like the Father could be, is so important.
“Be vigilant at all times and pray, that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” (MT 24:42)
“Stay awake,” expect Our Lord’s coming, “for you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” Our lives are not only for earth, we are invited to spend all eternity with God in Heaven, and being “awake” help us to remember “here and now” how to love more, how to believe stronger, and how to have hope which always leads you to Him.
“Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.” (MT 23: 27-28)
How often we take care of the outside, to “appear beautiful,” expecting people will respect us, will like us or even will invite usas important persons to be part of their lives. More important is our inside, our inner sanctuary where our heart is a meeting point with God. When our inside is beautiful, it radiates outward and makes our relationships truly righteous.
“Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him.” (Gospel acclamation)
“You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity.” (MT 23: 23)
This could be quite similar to what happens in our relationships (especially in marriage): “I work hard to bring home enough money for our family” or “I work hard to keep our home and children in order” and at the same time forgetting “the weightier things”: gentleness, respect, sincere gift of self, time for us, forgiveness, patience and tenderness in our dialog. The first things “you should have done, without neglecting the others.”
“The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“‘We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.’ But Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come from Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” (JN 1: 45-46)
“We have found Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth” was a great joy for Philip, who immediately shared this with Nathanael. The Good News proclaimed in words also should be visible, not for a passive observer but rather for an active prospector: “come and see.” When we share our faith with others, we can expect some expectations: show me your faith.
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“If it does not please you to serve the LORD, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your fathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are now dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (JOS 24: 15)
Even if the mandate, “decide today whom you will serve,” prompts a decision for someone’s whole life, it also should be repeated every single day. We can “serve the Lord” throughout our vocation as a Catholic husband/wife or as a Catholic parent, worker, friend and citizen.
“Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (MT 23: 11-12)
The Memorial of the Queenship of Our Lady is based on the Kingship of Our Lord. They are together from the beginning, and naturally, after Her Assumption we celebrate Her Queenship. She recognized Her role as a servant of God Almighty; she is the most humble person in the world, and she deserves to be called “the greatest” and to “be exalted.” When we pray the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, we always finish them with this Mystery. When we are consecrated to Her, we make Her happy.
“You have but one Father in heaven; you have but one master, the Christ.” (Gospel Acclamation)