Please join us 22 April 2014
FORGING A FEMININE FAITH
Prayer: Spiritual Formation in the Marian Tradition
Reflection: Gospel Insight for Contemporary Women
Renewal: Creating a Culture of Faith for Family, Church and Community
Daughters of Mary needed to arrange altar flowers for Easter!
Friday April 18—immediately following 5:30PM Stations of the Cross
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
A DoM SPECIAL TWO-HOUR EASTER SEASON COMMENTARY
GUEST SPEAKER—MATTHEW BAUGH, S.J.
TUESDAY MORNING—MAY 20, 2014
Matthew Baugh, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic and is currently in the middle stage of formation, during which young Jesuits spend three years working in one of the Order’s apostolates before going on to complete their studies for the priesthood. Matthew arrived in Mobile in July, having been missioned by his superiors to teach at Spring Hill College, where he is a professor of political science. He also assists with the spiritual formation of students, staff, and faculty.
Dear Beautiful Daughters of Mary,
My mother taught me how to be a daughter of Mary. Yes, Jesus gave his mother to us, before he died, as she stood at the foot of his Cross. My mother most surely knew this. And she imparted to me a sense of this. She taught me what to do, for his grieving mother, especially on the day after his death. On Holy Saturday, a true daughter, takes his mother home.
We don’t know for sure what Mary did on Holy Saturday. Luke notes that after the crucifixion “the women returned home and prepared spices and ointments, they rested and prayed according to the commandment.” (Luke 23: 56). Anna Catherine Emmerich envisions the “holy women,” returning home with the Blessed Virgin, eating only one meal or fasting. They prayed with Mary “on and off throughout the day. “ They rested.
Holy Saturday has been called the day of the Lord’s rest—and rest and quiet is what I experienced as a child. We gathered at home, as a family; we ate small meals, quietly dyed easter eggs, and set out our baskets. —We rested and prayed the rosary. Our day was not unlike the first Holy Saturday. For sure my mother had a sense, as do all holy women, all true daughters of Mary, that it is right to be with the Mother of Christ, in her grief, at least on this one day.
Holy Saturday is a day of rest and yet we know that the Lord never simply rests. God “labors” for us, as Ignatius said. Yes, God works even on Holy Saturday. It is on Holy Saturday that Jesus descended into hell. Jesus freed the just. And Mary his mother most surely knew this. She knew her son forgave those who sinned against him. At the cross she heard him say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34).
We know that Mary prays for those who sin against her son—and so we pray, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.” For Mary’s sake, her true daughters (and sons) are called to confess their sins. My mother also sensed this. As a family, on Holy Saturday, we stood in the long lines to confess our sins. We prayed for the souls in purgatory. On this one day in particular, it was important to be reconciled to Jesus—for this would bring comfort to his mother—and salvation to our souls.
Pope Benedict once said that Holy Saturday, the day between the death and Resurrection of Christ, is a “no man’s land. It has been called a “strange” day, a day of darkness, the day God is ‘hidden.” But his mother is not hidden, at least not from us. As her true daughters, let us take her home for Holy Saturday. And let us pray for her intercession.
In1956 Harry Belafonte’s rendition of “Take My Mother Home,” was released. I remember that we returned from Good Friday liturgy to hear the sound of Belafonte’s beautiful ballad fill our home:
I think I heard him say when he was struggling up the hill
I think I heard him say, take my mother home
Then I'll die easy, take my mother home
I'll die so easy, take my mother home
I think I heard him say, when they was raffling off his clothes
I think I heard him say, take my mother home
I think I heard him cry when they was nailing in the nails
I think I heard him cry, take my mother home
I'll die this death on Calvary, ain't gonna die no more
I'll die on Calvary, ain't gonna die no more
Ain't gonna die no more
I think I heard him say, when he was giving up the ghost
I think I heard him say, please, take my mother home
Please, take my mother home
Spiritual Direction of the Week
Enter the scenes of Holy Week with an ardent love for Jesus and His mother.
Spiritual gift of the Week
We pray for the grace of unconditional love.
Ask for Mary’s intercession that we may not place any conditions on our love for her son Jesus.
Gospel commentary / John 20:1-9
The Resurrection of the Lord—easter Sunday April 20, 2014
Commentary by SUSAN DUFFEY
On Sunday in Catholic Churches all over the world The Passion was read. I have always had a difficult time when it comes time for the Congregation to say “Crucify Him” , in fact I usually refuse to say it. The truth is all of us play a role in his crucifixion as it was for us that he assumed humanity and embraced the suffering and death on the Cross.
This week , Easter week, we celebrate His Resurrection. We celebrate the Impossible made possible through love.
Each of the evangelists offers a slightly different account of the Resurrection. This Easter Sunday we read from the Gospel of John – and in his account Mary Magdalene travels alone, while it is still dark to visit the tomb. In John’s version of this Resurrection story, Joseph of Arimethea has already anointed the body of Jesus- and prepared him for proper burial according to Jewish custom.
Picture yourself in Mary Magdalene’s shoes. She has just witnessed the gruesome, violent death of Jesus for treason. She was with Jesus throughout his public ministry, during his torture, and at the foot of the Cross until his death. Some accounts say she followed him all the way to the tomb.
She was there when the crowds taunted and mocked him. Knowing human nature, we must assume that she, as a known disciple of Christ was taunted and jeered at as well. We know that Peter was so fearful he denied association with Jesus three times.
Mary Magdalene must have feared that she too might be unjustly executed- but her Love for Christ drove her to risk everything and go anyway. Where did she find the courage to travel through the dark to a tomb she must of known was guarded; the tomb of a man she devoted her life to, a man who died as a publicly ridiculed criminal.
Surely she questioned whether her devotion was worth it. After following Jesus throughout his public ministry, after the sacrifices she made to follow him, her Messiah had met with failure. But she went anyway.
“And she found the stone rolled away and tomb empty!”
“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”
Keep in mind that the people of this time were not expecting a Resurrection. Some believed in reincarnation, some believed that death was the end and some believed that in the end times, all the righteous would be resurrected. No one believed in the resurrection of a body. Mary’s first thought was that Jesus’ body had been stolen. She runs to tell Simon Peter and the “other Disciple” the one whom Jesus loved and they too come to the tomb. They discover the burial wraps – laid out but not as they would have been had the body been stolen.
The heavy stone that had been rolled away and the burial cloths left behind were clues that something supernatural had occurred. “Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.” The beloved disciple believes – even when he knows it is impossible. Today, We believe even though it still seems impossible. If Christ has risen from the dead - we do not just grieve his crucifixion and death, but we accept something greater than our human minds can comprehend. Death is not the end.
The four evangelists each tell a slightly different version of the resurrection story. On one point they all agree – the story of the Resurrection is the story of profound love. It began with God’s love for his Son and for us. The two most powerful forces in the universe are Love and Death – and through God’s sacrificial love, Death was conquered. We know that Jesus gave his life for us. We see through the eyes of the evangelists that Jesus revealed this unconditional love to his Mother, to Mary Magdalene and the disciples - and that they in turn loved Him UNCONDITIONALLY.
We learn through Easter that Love conquers all – even death. We know that Jesus became Man to teach us what unconditional love meant. Those that Jesus had loved , loved him in return. He gave His life for them and they in turn were willing to give their lives for Him. Had they not loved unconditionally and risked all to journey through fear and darkness to the tomb, to whom would the Resurrection have been revealed? “Mary of Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb.” She reached into the tomb, into death.”
The evangelists reveal the Easter story to us, that we might know the unconditional love of Jesus. We learn through Mary Magdalene’s devotion to her Messiah, to love unconditionally. WE learn to journey though the darkness (and there will be darkness) we learn to love when it is difficult and to say, “Yes” to Jesus even though we might be persecuted. And we learn that this unconditional love will see us through all – even death.
At the root of the Resurrection we find love – the strongest force in the Universe. When we look at the Crucifix we should see the suffering Christ endured for us – but we should feel his loving embrace. It is not a symbol, it is not abstract, it is real.
John Updike wrote in Seven Stanzas for Easter
"Let us not seek to make it less monstrous, for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty. Lest awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed by the miracle... Let us not mock God with metaphor, analogy, sidestepping transcendence, making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages: let us walk through the door..."
That door which today we are invited to walk through is not a passage to the tomb of Jesus Christ, but to the place of his resurrection. Here we gaze in wonder at what actually is the "porch of spirits lingering," the place of new possibilities which God himself reveals to be true.
Jesus Lives! And we Love Him Amen. Alleluia!
Meditation Music of the Week
(selected by Fran Schnadelbach)
“Take My Mother Home,” sung by Harry Belafonte.
“Christ the Lord is Risen Today”
Dear Beautiful Daughters of Mary,
This week Pope Francis gave us questions to ask ourselves as we meditate upon the Passion of Christ:
“Who am I? Who am I before the Lord?…
Who am I before Jesus who suffers?…
Am I like one of them?…
Am I like the courageous women, and like the mother of Jesus, who were there, suffering in silence?…
Am I like the two Marys, who remained in front of the tomb, weeping, praying?”
Our dear Pope’s questions are a beautiful guide for our Holy Week prayer. So preghiamo—let us pray.
Avere un Easter benedetta—Have a blessed Easter,