Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10TH Lk. 11: 27-28 “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” Jesus replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
- Jesus is speaking to a crowd of people one day when a woman is so moved by the truth and unction of His words that she can no longer contain herself. Praise and homage pour forth from her lips for the mother who bore Him! “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.”
- On this very day the words of the Magnificat are fulfilled: “Henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed.” This unnamed woman begins a litany of praise for Mary that will continue down through the ages until the end of time!
- Jesus then gives even greater honor to Mary: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” Did not Elizabeth say this of Mary: “Blessed is she who believed the word the Lord spoke to her would be fulfilled.” (Lk. 1:45) Mary was the first and most faithful disciple of Jesus!
- St. Josemaria Escriva: “It was a compliment to His Mother on her Fiat, her be it done. She lived it sincerely, unstintingly, fulfilling its every consequence, but never amid fanfare, rather in the hidden and silent sacrifice of each day.”
- Most of us will not do great things in the world. But we can all do the ordinary things of everyday life with extraordinary love! And we can all accept the set-backs and contradictions of each day with extraordinary patience by asking Mary, the full of grace, to help us. In doing so we are working in the vineyard for the salvation of immortal souls with Jesus and Mary, with the Apostles, Martyrs, and Saints, right where we are planted! And all the trials and sufferings we encounter will save souls – just like coal under pressure turns to diamonds!
MARY’S TWO GREATEST DESIRES: THE HONOR AND GLORY OF GOD AND THE SALVATION OF IMMORTAL SOULS. By Fr. Ed. Broom, OMV
If we sincerely love Jesus and Mary His Mother, then shouldn’t we ask what their two greatest desires are? The response is this. The first is to honor and glorify God in this life and in the next. The second is that which naturally flows from honoring and glorifying God, and that is the sanctification and salvation of immortal souls for all eternity!
DANTE: THE DEVIL AND THE HOLY NAME OF MARY. In the classic written by Dante, The Divine Comedy, in the section on Hell, Jesus is informed by the devil that a certain soul is his, a soul that is destined for eternal damnation in hell. Jesus responds by denying the devil’s assertion. The devil insists saying this soul, due to his many serious sins, is his property. Jesus then says with utter clarity and simplicity: that soul is not yours because he invoked the Holy Name of my Mother Mary! This literary masterpiece does not deny the serious quality of sin, especially mortal sin. However, it does highlight a hallmark and indispensable help on the Highway to salvation: the presence of Mary, the power of Mary, the importance of invoking the Holy Name of Mary!
Our Lady has two constant and ardent desires: first, to praise and glorify God; and second, the perseverance, sanctification, and salvation of immortal souls. As Saint Thomas Aquinas reminds us, one soul is worth more than the whole created universe! Saint Ignatius challenged Francis Xavier to conversion with one immortal Biblical phrase: “What will it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his immortal soul?” (Mt. 16:26)
OUR LADY AND THE TWO KEYS TO SALVATION. In both Lourdes (1858) and Fatima (1917), Our Lady expressed the clear call to conversion from sin and to pray for the conversion of poor sinners. Our Lady’s message could be summed up in three words: SIN, PRAYER, AND SACRIFICE!!! Let us explain these words!
SIN. Our Lady pointed out very clearly, especially in Fatima, the evil of sin. She prophesied that as a result of sin, wars had broken out and if people kept sinning, a worse war would explode. Twenty-two years after Fatima (1917) the worst war in the history of the world crashed into human history—World War II, killing millions upon millions – estimated at 50 to 58 million. Our Lady also pointed out that souls are lost to the eternal fires of hell due especially to the sins against the very demanding virtue of purity. The words of Jesus resound clear and with conviction: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.” (Mt. 5:8) Even the Immaculate Heart of Mary surrounded with sharp and penetrating thorns manifests sin in a very personal way—sin pierces the Immaculate Heart of our Heavenly Mother. Our Lady challenges each of us to look into our life, examine our conscience, and make a firm purpose of amendment once and for all to strive with all the energy in our will and in our life to renounce sin in all shapes, colors, sizes, and forms! And that includes avoiding near occasions of sin—those persons, places, things, circumstances or times of the day that draw us into sin!
PRAYER. In all six of Our Lady’s appearances to the three children of Fatima, she exhorts them to pray the Rosary daily! Truly the Rosary is our Ladder to Heaven! The Rosary is biblical – following the lives of Jesus and Mary in Sacred Scripture. Pope Saint John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae on the Rosary gives us this exhortation: to contemplate the face of Christ in union with, and at the school of, his Most Holy Mother, through the recitation of the Rosary. He says we are remembering Christ with Mary, we are learning Christ from Mary, we are being conformed to Christ with Mary, we are praying to Christ with Mary, and we proclaiming Christ with Mary!
1. The Joyful Mysteries begin with the most important moment in all human history—the Annunciation, the announcement of the Angel Gabriel to Mary that she has been chosen to be the Mother of God, and upon Mary’s consent, her Yes, and the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, we have the Incarnation—the Son of God made flesh in the Immaculate womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary! “Mary leads us to discover the secret of Christian joy, reminding us that Christianity is, first and foremost, euangelion, “good news”, which has as its heart and its whole content the person of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, the one Saviour of the world.” (Pope Saint John Paul II – Rosarium Virginis Maria)
2. The Luminous Mysteries, the mysteries of Light introduced by Pope Saint John Paul II in 2002, cover the Public life of Christ in which He proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom. In the second mystery, the Wedding Feast at Cana, we encounter Jesus’ first public miracle through the powerful intervention of Mary, the first among believers, and because of this, “the disciples believed in Him.” (Jn. 2:11) These mysteries culminate in the sublime mystery of the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood— “Do this in remembrance of me” (Lk. 22:19), necessary to perpetuate Christ’s august and sublime Gift of Self in the Eucharist!
3. The Sorrowful Mysteries in which we walk the Way of the Cross with our Sorrowful Mother Mary. “The sorrowful mysteries help the believer to relive the death of Jesus, to stand at the foot of the Cross beside Mary, to enter with her into the depths of God’s love for man and to experience all its life-giving power.” (Pope Saint John Paul II – Rosarium Virginis Maria)
4. The Glorious Mysteries begin with the Resurrection of Jesus and end with the Assumption of Mary into Heaven and Coronation of Mary, Queen of the Angels and Saints! With Christ’s Resurrection comes the promise of the resurrection of the faithful. Therefore, the grace of all graces is to die in the state of grace! In praying the Rosary, we beg Mother Mary’s intercession to obtain this grace of all graces. Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
SACRIFICE. In both Lourdes (1858) and Fatima (1917) the Blessed Mother, concerned about the conversion and salvation of sinners, asked for frequent and fervent prayers to be offered. However, in addition to prayers, she noted that sacrifice was also required if souls were to be saved! Jesus reiterates the same message: “Unless a man deny himself and take up his cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lk. 14:26)
WAYS TO PLEASE MARY AND JESUS BY SACRIFICE. If this is the case, that Jesus and Mary want us to offer sacrifices for the salvation of souls, then what can we do? Lucia de Los Santos once asked Our Lady of Fatima what she, Francisco, and Jacinta should do with respect to sacrifices. Our Lady responded by telling her to offer up all to God as a sacrifice. As a guide or help, we would like to suggest ten distinct areas that you can offer to Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary as forms of sacrifice, and as such collaborate with them in the salvation of many souls. Indeed, the harvest is rich, but the laborers are few. May you be among the harvesters with Jesus and Mary, in the harvest of immortal souls for all eternity!
1. MORNING OFFERING. Start off every day by offering all you are, all you have, and all you plan to do that day to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the salvation of souls.
2. WEATHER CONDITIONS. Instead of complaining about the heat, the cold, the rain, the wind simply accept it and thank God you are alive! If it causes you discomfort, offer it for the salvation of souls.
3. HEADACHE. You experience a headache, unite it with the Crown-thorned Head of Jesus for those many sinners whose minds are full of sin—in their memories, thoughts, or imagination! May their minds be purified by your willingness to accept your headache!
4. TRAFFIC JAM. Instead of giving in to both anger and impatience, say an extra Rosary for the conversion and salvation of sinners.
5. BEING IGNORED. If at home or at work you are forgotten, not taken into account, snubbed or simply ignored, offer it in reparation for the many who treat Jesus the same way by ignoring Him or denying Him.
6. DRYNESS IN PRAYER. You pray but there are no strong feelings or emotions, and this may go on for some time; take advantage of this spiritual desert that you are traversing by offering it for the conversion of sinners who are far from God and who are living in a moral wasteland.
7. HUMILIATIONS. They can come in many shapes, forms, and sizes, and can be very painful! Accept them for the sake of the salvation of so many poor sinners who are on the very precipice of the eternal loss of their souls!
8. PLANS UPSET. Inevitably life teaches us that our plans can easily be upset and overturned. Accept this and the suffering it entails, once again so as to collaborate with Jesus and Mary in the conversion and salvation of many immortal souls.
9. PAINFUL WAITING. You have an appointment and the person arrives late. In the interim, offer your suffering by praying an extra Rosary or Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Even though waiting can be very painful, it too can be the means of the conversion and sanctification of lost sinners. God is willing to take whatever we are willing to offer Him with a sincere, pure, and generous heart to save souls!
10. SLIP, TRIP, FALL AND BRUISE. It has happened to all of us. We forget to watch our step, we stumble, trip, fall and end up bruising ourselves, if not worse. Instead of blurting out some vulgar word, offer it for the many souls who have slipped morally, who are bruised spiritually, who have fallen into the deep mud of mortal sin and possibly are in danger of never getting up and out of their sinful condition. Perhaps your offering will help them to rise up and return to the loving embrace of the Merciful Father.
To conclude, Our Lady has an ardent longing for two things. For God to be honored, praised and glorified in this life and forever in heaven. Also, Mary loves what God loves: the conversion of sinners and the salvation of an abundant harvest of souls. Let us work generously with Jesus and Mary!
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA