Saint Martha Novena

Mary Magdalene

jesus hugging girl

Mommy Mantra July 22, 2014:  Micah 7: 14-15, 18-20, John 20: 1-2, 11-18

Today we celebrate Mary Magdalene.  Many use this Gospel to point out that this is a story of Mary Magdalene’s growing and transforming faith.  They point out that she went to the tomb in the earliest of morning hours while it was still dark, saying the symbolism of the early darkness is Mary’s unbelief, further saying that her running away from the tomb was her running from her growing faith, only to have that faith pull her back to seeking for Jesus, finding him she grips onto him hard not wanting to let him go.

Now, I don’t see the Gospel in the same way.  Mary Magdalene  traveled with Jesus, she is mentioned by name 12 times, more than many disciples, and she is the one who stands at the cross as Jesus dies.  This is not the action of a shrinking violet of faith.

In the Gospel of Mark 16, Mary goes to the tomb with three others; they find the tomb empty but they do not run away.  They confront an angel in the tomb and ask after Jesus.

Gospel of Matthew 28 also has the women, this time two, coming to find Jesus gone and have an encounter with an angel who comes to them in an earthquake.  Again both women stay to hear what the angel has said and goes to tell the men the good news.

Gospel of Luke 24 has two other women joining Mary on her way to visit the tomb.  They also encounter an angel, receive the good news and tell it to the disciples.  They are perplexed, but no where do they seem to be afraid of the angel or to hear the news.

In two of the Gospels she does not running away, but standing there, perhaps confused, amazed, afraid, but she is till there.  In the one other Gospel where she does run she doesn’t go far and her reaction is because suddenly she is face to face with an angel who comes in an earthquake and is so dazzling that he looks like lightning, I’d run too!

It’s very interesting John’s take.  His Gospel is said to be written from the perspective of an eye witness account, so is his Gospel closer to what really happened and the others interpret the events according to their audience and their understanding, or need to understand, the message of Christ?   I don’t like seeing Mary Magdalene as weak, fearful.  She is the one that Jesus casts out the seven demons. She is usually thought of as the second-most important woman in the New Testament after Mary, the mother of Jesus.  It is interesting that in Aramaic, “Magdala” means “tower” or “elevated, great, magnificent, because she alone is the first to see Jesus at the Resurrection.

To me her association with Jesus gives her confidence and strength.  She is a woman so transformed by her experience of and association with Jesus that her life is never the same.

Today let’s pray for each others transformation.

What Would Mary Do. Random Acts of Kindness Makes You God’s Hero

marybuttonWhat Would Mary Do.
Thinking about the reading and Gospel and the random acts we can do; here is one.
This older mom pays for the nappies of a young struggling mom. For the younger mom it is an answer prayer. For the older, she feels like a hero.
Her feeling like hero isn’t a sign of selfishness. No! It’s a sign that she knows she has done her part in the mission of Christ. It may be something  the older mom will forget. But I know the younger mom never will.

Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary

what motherhood is like

We are going to a birthday party for our Godson; it will be his first, and an exciting time for family and friends. It is a time for us to rejoice in this little boy’s life, looking back at all the milestones, not just the little boy’s but the parents as well; and with today being the Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary it will be interesting for his mom to view this first year through Mary’s own experience.

Susan Netter wrote in her Facebook posting yesterday of Mary “pondering all these things in her heart”, and how parenting is hard, and we as “modern moms” ponder many things in our hearts. The Gospel this morning certainly reveals that Mary was going through experiences that we have go through or will with our own children. We see a teen age Jesus acting as teen age children do: exploring and expressing his own understanding of who he was becoming. And as older moms know and have experienced that process can be difficult, fear riddled and angering, the beginning of the letting process that is nature but not always liked by moms: seeing our children grow up, form their own response to God’s calling, and leaving the nest.

Did Mary, as she was searching for Jesus, look back on her life raising Jesus and see his milestones from infant to then and did she wonder if those memories would be her last? Did she vacillate between anger at Jesus being gone to her own doubts and worries to hope that Jesus is OK?

When Mary and Joseph stood at the Temple door looking in I don’t think they knew what as going on. It’s clear from the Gospel they didn’t, Jesus had to tell them why he was there and what he was doing. For our Godson the future is open, and the path being made. Mom and Dad are helping to forge that path, but it is our Godson who will be walking it. Like Mary and Joseph each decision whether conscientiously made or not helped shape Jesus’ journey but not the only influence, just as is true for our own children. And just as true of Mary and Joseph prayer, hope, and thoughtful guidance will be the best thing for our children

Mommy Mantra for September 28, 2013: Pay attention to what I am telling you. (Luke 9:44)

mom's examen 2013Mommy Mantra for September 28, 2013: Pay attention to what I am telling you. (Luke 9:44)

Friday, Jesus asked who do we think he is. And at times it sounds like who do you think I am; almost as if he is asking us do we think he is someone who does magic tricks instead of someone who is God of our life. He is very insistent that we pay attention; look around our lives/situations/events/relationships for evidence of his working in our lives. He is going to the cross. Going to suffer and die. He wants us to see how his suffering will free us from fearing our own. He wants us to see the glory. He wants us to see.

Go Ahead Insert Your Name Into the Gospel And See What Happens

wpid-MB900413440.jpgThis is a form of Ignatian Spiritual Exercise: Contemplation prayer.  Ignatius thought the use of our imaginations was a true gift from God; through it we could become one with those in Scripture and create a better understanding of God.  With this exercise we choose a Scripture passage, I have chosen Luke 10: 41-42, the Martha/Mary passage and am asking us to replace the name Martha with our own.  The passage would then read:

The Lord said to her in reply,
“Patty/Wilson, Patty/Wilson (Martha, Martha), you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

What does doing that do to you…does it change the Gospel message for you?


Why Is It ALWAYSMe!!!

This Sunday was the Gospel, Luke 10: 41 – 42, of Martha and Mary…that famous Gospel of Martha feeling a little tender about being the only one working. She has been working in the kitchen preparing to serve our Lord while her sister Mary sits at Jesus’ feet. Martha feels cheated, perhaps a little betrayed, the old: why am I ALWAYS the one who gets the grunt work, kinda thing; it is something I know I have felt more than once as a mom; why is it no one can ever ________________.

But read this portion of the Gospel as if Jesus is speaking to you, personally, and see if it just doesn’t shake up something in you:

The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

I know it did in me!

Start A Revolution

We are mothers, we bear the marks of that journey. Let’s work to heal our souls from all the lies we were told and we have told ourselves about who and what we are. Let’s work toward being good role models of hope, faith and love, instead of fear, worry and concern. Let’s work toward being healthy not perfect. Let’s proclaim our Baptismal roles of Priest (nurturer), Prophet, (teacher) and Queen, (protector)

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raceismislearnedMommy Mantra for July 1, 2013: “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.” (Genesis 18:32) 

I certainly jumped on the Paula Deen bandwagon, in fact I jumped around on it until it was splitters!  I was already feeling a bit chagrined at being a bit pompous about Paula Deen when I read this morning’s readings….Yes Lord.

So I want to confess:  I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters,that I have greatly sinned,in my thoughts and in my words,in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,through my fault, through my fault,through my most grievous fault;therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,all the Angels and Saints,and you, my brothers and sisters,to pray for me to the Lord our God.  

While I feel a certain uneasiness with the Paula Deen saga, I have no right to condemn her…..that is the right of God and God’s alone.  I do see that there is a lesson in this for ALL of us.  There is the obvious, that the way one treats another is how we show how we love God.  But then there is the speck in my sister’s eye while I have a plank in mine!  It may have felt like I was justified in my attitude toward Paula, but really was I, and ultimately what did it advance; anything, no.

In all things there are lessons to be learned and mine was to be patient and hopeful that we can create change through our forgiveness of others and our willingness to accept our own part in any negative situation so that we can change ourselves for the better and finally that our striving to try and be respectful to all will some day create the Kingdom of God here on Earth.  I lesson I must take to heart!

(I am stealing this from our Pastor, who writes this at the end of all his bulletin remarks)  Please Pray for me and I will pray for you.

Genesis 1:26-27

eddI love this exchange with Edd Fairman. Edd has recently married my niece Erin and so we, he and I, have not had a great deal of time with each other; which is why he posted this, thinking I wasn’t aware how art has influenced our thoughts of how Jesus was to look.

I don’t believe in coincidence, everything has a purpose, a thing to teach, a thing we need to see/hear/feel, or something that is to be shared and I think this Facebook exchange is in that category.

So let’s go a little deeper. Genesis 1:26-27 reveals, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’ … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God is saying that in each of us is the spirit of the Divine, the Holy Spirit, but also how God seems to us. For each of us we see God as we are…white, black, brown any colour.

If you go to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC there are representations of Jesus from every country, with their own understanding how Jesus would look.  One of my favourite Icons of Jesus and Mary is this Japanese Icon. I thank God that we see him as we are. God transcends race, culture and society to speaks to us personally.