If I were to ask you: who are you more like: Martha or Mary? Some of us could say, it depends on the situation. The two sisters in today’s gospel remind us of the need to consider the choices we make every day...
Looking back over my life, it seems that the depiction and talk of angels waxes and wanes. In older churches, we see ceilings and walls adorned with them. In pop culture, we’ve had TV shows like "Touched by an Angel" and "Highway to Heaven" and of course the classic movie, "It’s a Wonderful Life" where Jimmy Stewart’s character is led from despair to hope by his 'on the job' training angel, Clarence. And, of course, we have the chubby figurines with wings that you’ll find in gift stores around the world.
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Have you ever been at Mass and before you know it your saying, "Thanks be to God" or "Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ" and not you’re not sure what you’ve just heard. There are all sorts of distractions we bring into Mass or reading Scripture; so at times, I try to listen for key words to help me remember the main point.
Today’s celebration of Our Lady of Sorrows is also the patronal feast day of the men of the Congregation of Holy Cross. This feast has its origins in the Middle- Ages. The memorial to the Sorrows of Mary was started by the Servite Friars in the 1600’s and in 1814 Pope Pius the VII extended the celebration to the whole Western Church after the Holy Father was freed from the sufferings he endured during captivity in France.
Today, we celebrate the birth of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Blessed Mother. This celebration reminds us of Mary’s shared humanity with each of us - it’s makes her real. Imagine the sense of joy and hopefulness that her birth brought to her parents Joachim and Ann - imagine them looking at her with love and wonderment, and perhaps sensing that she was special.
Most of us have lived through both challenging and peaceful times. And because we've experienced both, we have perspective. But that doesn't mean that we don't feel anxious when we are in the midst of a storm, whether literally like the recent hurricane, Ida, or the U.S. and refugee evacuation from Afghanistan.