“Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD. Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and they shall be his people and he will dwell among you.” (ZEC 2: 14-15)
We are so important to Our Lord. He came not only to save us but also to be with us: “Sing and rejoice… I am coming to dwell among you, says the Lord.” In every tabernacle He is always with us “to be with his people,” to protect us, and to tell us, in every moment, how much He loves us.
“Our Savior Christ Jesus destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“War broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.” (RV 12: 7-8)
Today we celebrate three archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. They became an important part of the history of salvation, from the “war in heaven” until the Annunciation. We can ask them always to assist us, like Raphael assisted Tobias. We can invite them into to our lives to help us to fulfill God’s will.
“Bless the LORD, all you angels, you ministers, who do his will.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But Herod said, ‘John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?’ And he kept trying to see him.” (LK 9: 9)
We can’t see Our Lord, but we believe that He is always with us. There is no other way to “come to the Father except through” Him. We need spiritual eyes to see Him in the Church, in the Liturgy and in the Sacraments and in our brothers and sisters. When we follow Him, Who is “the way and the truth and the life,” we are witnessing that He is really present in our lives.
“I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,
and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” (LK 9: 3-5)
This is the most difficult part of my journeys: “take nothing for the journey.” I am good about not having “a walking stick,” not “a second tunic (cassock),” food and sometimes even no money, but still “nor sack” is a big challenge. Our Lord wants us totally depending on Him and trusting in Him. He will take care of us when we are sent to proclaim the Good News.
“The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“He was told, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.’ He said to them in reply, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.’” (LK 8: 20-21)
It sounds like Our Lady was rejected, but the opposite is true. She was honored. She was the first one who listened and acted. This is why we need to learn from her how to love Our Lord and how to listen to Him.
“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” (LK 8: 17-18)
We know, from our inner dialog, all the forms of mistaken patterns of interpretation: generalization, the snow-ball effect, dark lenses and many others. The main problem lies in listening from our own point of view. It is important how we hear: “take care, then, how you hear.”
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near. Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked his thoughts; let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.” (IS 55: 6-7)
This is the news we are never tired of listening to: “God . . . is generous in forgiving.” Whenever we do something wrong, whenever we fail someone or whenever we feel lost and abandoned, we can “turn to the Lord for mercy.” All we need is to “seek the Lord while he may be found, call him while he is near.”
“Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”
Our hearts were created by God, and only when we are totally devoted to Him can we be fulfilled and happy. Our hearts, to be “generous and good,” need to be in touch with “the word.” Our Lord, when we listen to Him, can change our hearts because He loves us and wants the best for us.
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But you, man of God, avoid all this. Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 TM 6: 11-12)
St. Paul reminds us of how important our faith is. Possessing objects and “love for money” can’t satisfy our hearts; only relationships with other persons, love of God and “eternal life, to which we are called,” are the right answers to our dignity and our identity—persons created with love by God.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ.” (EPH 4: 11-13)
They had different missions, different tasks and different peoples, but the same goal and mission: “to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ.” Today we have the same mission, the same tasks and the same goal, but this time they are based on us and on our response. As mothers and fathers and as professionals and volunteers, we take care of building up the Body of Christ.
“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation)