“Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.” (MT 14: 22-23)
We need moments of solitude, a time especially dedicated to prayer, to slow down and reflect on our lives from the right perspective (“he went up on the mountain”) and with the right person (Jesus). The same is important for our marriages: time to spend together, to reflect, to pray and to contemplate Our Lord’s presence in our lives.
“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Would that we had meat for food! We remember the fish we used to eat without cost in Egypt, and the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic.
But now we are famished; we see nothing before us but this manna.” (NM 11: 4-6)
We like changes: we move, we change our jobs, we try new things in restaurants, or we travel to see new places. If not, we would stay the same: “now we are famished; we see nothing before us but this manna.” At the same time, we could be very creative. In my country we like potatoes, and we have hundreds of recipes to make them for a meal. The same strategy we can use to protect our relationship: we keep rituals, we try to refresh all our ways to communicate love and respect; the same spouse and a thousand gestures to tell her/him—I love you.
“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.’ When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and do not be afraid.’”
God the Father sent His beloved Son to proclaim the Good News to us, to bring us salvation and to invite us to heaven. Without a close relationship with Our Lord, without listening to Him, and without following Him, this will be impossible. Our Lord’s words: “Rise, and do not be afraid,” are for us too and remind us never to give up.
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Do not deal unfairly, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the LORD, am your God.” (LV 25: 17)
God always shows us a bigger perspective—not only temporary, ad hoc benefits, but also “righteousness” (“do not deal unfairly”) and “the Kingdom of heaven” where we are going. Modern authors will say—begin with the end in mind—“stand in fear of your God.” Our Lord helps us to see a blessing in the moments when we “are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.”
“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.’ And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.” (MT 13: 57-58)
Almighty God is limited in His power by our faith—a paradox of our nature created by God, who fights for our hearts only through love. He needs our faith, our trust and our love to make miracles in our lives. He can’t save us without us.
“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. On the first day of the first month of the second year the Dwelling was erected. It was Moses who erected the Dwelling.” (EX 40: 16-18)
We often ask Our Lord to “open our hearts, . . . to listen to the words of your Son.” Listening is just the beginning; it is the first step. Now we need to put His words into practice in our lives, like Moses, who “did exactly as the Lord had commanded him.” It is so amazing that God wanted to live with us and to have His Dwelling among us. Now He is also with us in a very special way—in the Tabernacles.
“Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (MT 13: 44)
It happens in our lives that we forget about the beauty of the Kingdom of heaven, which is “like a treasure buried in a field.” We are more concerned about the “field” and about “buried” than about “a treasure.” Joy comes with eyes open to see in our different “fields” the hidden treasures, especially when we remember how important we are to Our Lord—“I call you my friends.”
“I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“If I find favor with you, O LORD, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own.” (EX 34: 9)
Our Lord fully understands all “our wickedness and sins”; He knows that we are “indeed a stiff-necked people,” but He is with us, coming “along in our company,” because He loves us and “receive[s] us as His own.” His love protects us, and His presence makes us brave. We are His and He is ours.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; All who come to him will live for ever.” (Gospel Acclamation)