Appearances of Mary
She urges us to do whatever Jesus tells us. All members of our community are inspired to imitate her tenderness, strength, and devotion in faith. Marcellin Champagnat was a man of work, a sworn enemy of laziness. We follow his example in being generous of heart and constant and persevering in our daily work as well as in the efforts we undertake for our own ongoing learning.
Young people learn that work is a powerful means of self-fulfillment, of giving purpose and meaning to life, and of contributing to the general economic, social and cultural wellbeing of the society in which they live. Marist Characteristics Presence We develop a way of being, loving and doing. I never imagined he would have to experience solidarity with prisoners beaten and tortured, but he did.
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Jesus began this journey by becoming one with every powerless person, mocked and made fun of by others. He did nothing that deserves capital punishment, or the abuse he was given. Now that he is condemned to death, reflect with me on each station of his journey — entering more and more completely into our humanity and death itself. My Son was forced to carry the cross on which he would be nailed, ridiculed and executed. We must pause here to remember what it represents. For this journey, he takes up the weight of all of our crosses, all of our senseless suffering, and the weight of all of the sin in the world — past, present and future.
Each step he took cut deeply into his already battered shoulders.
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We can look back now and remember that this is all for us. I can barely express to you what it was like to see my Son fall under the weight of that cross.
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Everything within me wanted to make them stop. This was already too much. But, there was nothing I could do but watch him lay on the ground. Of course, I now know that if he was to enter completely into our lives, he would have to surrender to the crushing weight of the burdens so many in their world suffer.
All the people of the earth who are overcome by unfair burdens will always know that, laying there on the ground, Jesus knew and would always understand their powerlessness.
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Unable to get himself up, he entered into and forever understands our fatigue and whatever unfairly defeats us. Please, just be grateful. My Son simply wants us to remember how he loved then and loves us now. This is all about his mercy and the gift of life we have in him.
As I pushed and shoved to move through the crowds to be as close to my Son as I could, we came to a place in the road where he stopped. He saw me. The love from my heart poured out in the only embrace I could give him. The sword passing through my heart had blessed his mission, and I knew he knew it. Thank him with me, even now, that he took up that mission for us. Thank him that he has tasted the separation and loss that every person in the world knows who has lost a loved one.
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And, he has understood the heart of every loving mother who grieves at the suffering of her children. He has become so completely one with us.
Now reflect with me on what it must have been like for my Son to simply not be able to carry the cross any further alone. As we look back, we can give thanks that Jesus entered into our life, even in this gesture of help. Even in this final journey, Jesus would not even have the satisfaction of being able to do this on his own.
As a mother, I can hardly tell you that there was even spit on his face. It was the face of solidarity with all who have ever experienced abuse and violence. Then, out of the crowd came a woman whose compassion for my Son was so great that she pushed passed the Roman soldiers and wiped his face with her veil. Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Then it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will have pity on the remnant of Joseph. The implications are immense for our understanding of Mary.
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In 2 Samuel, the gates play an intriguing role in the drama of King David. First, in 2 Samuel , he takes to an area of the gates seeking consolation amid his sorrow over the death of his son Absalom:. The king was shaken, and went up to the room over the city gate and wept. My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son! The gate also becomes a site for David to assert himself. A few verses later, Joab tells him to make a public appearance or his army will desert him.
Eventually, in Verse 9, David relents,. So the king got up and sat at the gate. As Haaretz explains, this was the key moment in which David maintained control over the throne. Mary too embraces us in all our circumstances. Finally, the gates were beautiful. In order to fortify them some were solid stone, which, according to the International Bible Encyclopedia , lent itself to rich biblical imagery about jeweled doors:. O afflicted one, storm-battered and unconsoled, I lay your pavements in carnelians, your foundations in sapphires; I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.
The foundations of the city wall were decorated with every precious stone; the first course of stones was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh hyacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made from a single pearl; and the street of the city was of pure gold, transparent as glass. These texts point to one more role Mary has: as a refuge, a safe place. And what wonderful images Scripture has given us of her maternal protection!
Whatever it is that we are looking for, we should fly to the Gate of Heaven, because there we can be confident we will find Christ.
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