Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
Tuesday, July 5th Mt. 9: 32-38 Alleluia Verse: “I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.”
We are initiating a new segment for the Points of Meditation wherein Fr. Ed invites us to meditate each day on one of a series of articles on the Mystery of the Mass.
This is inspired by the Apostolic Letter by Pope Francis, DESIDERIO DESIDERAVI. Referring to the Vatican II document on the liturgy promoting the “full, conscious, active and fruitful celebration” of the Mass, Pope Francis makes these comments. “The ‘sense of mystery’ and awe Catholics should experience at Mass is one prompted by an awareness of the sacrifice of Christ and his real presence in the Eucharist. Beauty, just like truth, always engenders wonder, and when these are referred to the mystery of God, they lead to adoration.”
WALKING ENERGETICALLY TOWARD THE HOLY MOUNTAIN by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Begin by Reading I Kings 19: 1-8
Pursued by his mortal enemies, especially the wicked Queen Jezebel, Elijah was about to give up and abandon the end of his life to despair. Better if I were dead, was his moral conclusion, as he pondered his possible death at the hands of Queen Jezebel.
After the Prophet Elijah expended a day in fleeing for his life, he collapsed and was about to throw in the towel. He entered into a deep slumber. However, God would never abandon His faithful servant. An angel grabs hold of Elijah and wakes him up with the words: “Get up and eat.” Something like the substance of bread is presented to Elijah from the angel. Elijah does indeed eat, but then returns to his slumber. With determined persistence, the angel pursues Elijah shaking him again from his slumber, and once more insisting that he eat. Again Elijah is presented this bread-like substance to eat.
After consuming this bread given to him by the angel, Elijah arises and starts his journey toward the Holy Mountain. Invigorated by the energy flowing from the bread given to him by the angel, Elijah now walks for the length of forty days and forty nights. (This is the traditional period of the Holy Season of Lent and the number of days that Jesus spent in the desert praying and fasting.)
On the Holy Mountain, Elijah encounters God, not in the powerful wind, or in the earthquake, or even the fire; he encounters God in the gentle whispering of the wind.
BREAD FOR THE JOURNEY. It was the energy communicated by this bread of the angels that gave Elijah the capacity to pursue this journey of forty days and forty nights without any pause, and arrive safe and sound at his desired destiny. This Holy Mountain symbolizes the presence of a three times holy God.
ELIJAH AND YOU AND ME… The person of the Prophet Elijah, his predicament, his mortal enemies, and his flight symbolize my life and your life. Our enemies are many, persistent, and at times very insidious. Who are these enemies, what are they, and how can we conquer them?
The enemies could be categorized into three: the devil, the flesh, and the world. Jesus describes the devil as a liar and a murderer from the beginning. The serpent (the devil) lied to Eve; then Cain killed Abel. The world is an enormous and vast field where we can easily be sidetracked from our pursuit of God and our eternal salvation. How easy it is for the glimmer, the glamour and the gleeful seductions of the world to entrap us.
Finally, due to Original Sin and its effects that we call concupiscence, the bodily desires of the flesh prevail over the invitations and inspirations of the Holy Spirit. For that reason, Saint Louis de Montfort insists that we meditate upon the lure, attraction, and seductions of the world before making our total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.
To prove ourselves victorious in our rigorous and taxing journey to the Holy Mountain—which is really Heaven—we must be strong; we must nourish our inner being, our souls; we must eat the Bread of the angels. Not just once or twice, but during the whole course of our earthly pilgrimage.
WHAT IS THIS BREAD OF THE ANGELS? The response? It is JESUS who is truly and substantially present in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is Jesus truly present in the Consecrated Host. It is Jesus every time we approach the Holy Sacrament of the Altar and receive Holy Communion.
Our journey towards Heaven is very long, very perilous, very dangerous, with countless obstacles, potholes, crevices, precipices, and dangerous cliffs that lead to destruction.
THE BEST SOLUTION AND REMEDY? Frequent, fervent and faith-filled reception of Holy Communion. If we can imitate the Prophet Elijah and nourish our immortal souls as often as possible with Holy Communion, the Bread of the angels, then we will be capable of arriving safely, securely and permanently at our eternal destiny—the Kingdom of Heaven.
What then are three practical conclusions that we can derive in meditating upon the Prophet Elijah, his nourishment and his arrival at the Holy Mountain of God?
1. FAITH AND BELIEF. We must have a firm and unshakeable faith and belief that Holy Communion, in the context of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is truly and substantially the Bread of the Angels, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus, the Son of the living God. May our prayer be: “Lord I believe, but strengthen my belief!”
2. HUNGER FOR THE BREAD OF LIFE. Saint Thomas Aquinas points out that one of the most important conditions in the efficacious reception of Holy Communion is a real hunger for God, a real hunger for Jesus, the Bread of Life! May the prayer of the Psalmist resound in the depths of our own hearts: “As the deer yearns for the running streams, so my soul yearns for you O Lord, my God.” (Psalm 41:1) As a dying man hungers for food, so should our soul hunger and thirst for Jesus the Living God, Jesus the Bread of Life.
3. WALK WITH ENERGY, ENTHUSIASM AND STRENGTH TOWARDS HEAVEN. After receiving Holy Communion, the Bread of Angels, may we walk with energy, enthusiasm, courage and strength towards the Mountain of Holiness, our Heavenly home. The obstacles are many—the devil, the flesh, and the world—but God is stronger than all of the enemies that can entrap us. In the words of the Psalmist: “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made Heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8)
Confronted by so many obstacles, and especially that of desolation which can lead us even into despair, let us eat the Bread of the Angels like the Prophet Elijah, and arrive safely at the Mountain of Holiness. Indeed, God Himself is our reward who will appear before us at the end of the long and perilous journey. Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.