Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Recognizing Him, pt. 3...

At the very beginning of the Luminous Mysteries (the First one being The Baptism in the Jordan), there is an absolutely beautiful moment when Jesus, coming to the River Jordan to meet with St. John, tells him that His Baptism must be performed to keep everything in line with the prophets of Holy Scriptures. I am always "stunned into silence" at this time, thinking about how the Creator and Lord of the universe can be so meek and humble as to allow a mere hermit of the desert to do something like this to Him, when, like John says, "I should be baptized by You! I am not worthy..."and once again, we see a member of His family who recognizes Him as He really is...St. John the Baptist, one of the first Martyrs, the one who was remitted of Original Sin in the womb of his own mother, St. Elizabeth on that fateful day so long ago, when Our Lady came to see Her cousin and help her in his own birth...who recognized Him from even his pre-born state! (Yet, another example of the beginnings of life from conception ~ how else would the Saint have such cognitive powers if he had not been human from the very beginning, eh?)
The part that always gets to me, I mean truly, is when the Father Himself parts the very sky and proclaims before everyone gathered there on the riverbank: "This is My beloved Son, hear Him! In Him, I am well pleased!" And the Holy Spirit, appearing from out of nowhere...I mean, how much more could we possibly expect here?!? His identity is handed to us on a silver platter!!!
Up until now, we have only known of the Holy Family and what they were going through ~ all of Our Lady's wonder at everything happening to Her, a few "players" on the sidelines, and what Jesus did as a small Boy.
Now, we come to the Man, after fasting for 40 days in the desert, coming into His own...
Secondly, at The Wedding Feast @ Cana, where Our Lady, who already has proven that She is totally aware of Her Son's identity, asks a simple favor with total Faith in His ability as God, also in His love for Her, prompting Him to obey Her smallest whim. Scripture tells us that, at this point, His disciples believed in Him ~ they recognized Him ~ after witnessing what He does to the water...but it took a miracle to convince them! Surprised? We really shouldn't be! At least, not yet ~ this is only His first one...
Then on to The Proclamation of the Kingdom ~ Jesus explains what His Father's reign is really all about and how we must take part. Are we listening? Do we heed His words? Do we follow Him to all that awaits us? Are we really ready yet to recognize that we are witnessing Heaven on Earth here??
Seven Corporal Works of Mercy; seven Spiritual Works of Mercy; seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit; seven Sacraments. Every sermon, not just the one on the Mount, gives us yet another reason to listen ~ so what is our response? Do we recognize Him in others as we go about our daily lives? Are we practicing these "seven" ~ or are we assuming that we deserve to enter the Kingdom without any real work on our parts? 
This Third Luminous Mystery is the only one of the twenty that does not take us to any specific event in His life...and that is just as it should be. There is too much in the Gospels that shows us how to follow Him to be limited to just one example...and the Kingdom of the Eternal Father is made up of millions of souls who took to heart all that was in the Gospel! To practice the "sevens" is a good measure of how we are doing...and every time we recognize Him in the face of someone else, we are doing the same thing ~ for how can we resist doing good for others when we recognize Him all around us?
In the Fourth Luminous Mystery, The Transfiguration, we find Our Lord, in the company of His three chosen Apostles (who still don't quite "get it," by the way ~ at least, not completely) when suddenly He is transformed into the Beatific Vision, accompanied by Moses and Elijah. When Peter, blinded by the bright light, exclaims, "Lord, let us build three tents ~ one for You, etc." he is struck by the sheer majesty and beauty of the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity ~ and I daresay, he had had no idea, up until this moment, of just Whose Presence he was privileged to be in! Oh, I know he had some idea by now, but did he really recognize Jesus as the true King of glory? ...til now, I wonder...
I'm sure the Apostles had begun to understand Who He was, but after this day, I'm sure they had a much clearer recognition of the real calling they had received...leading others to Him, Who had just granted them a small glimpse of Heaven itself!
Finally, in The Institution of the Eucharist, we see that Jesus had been filled (in the very recesses of His Sacred Heart) with a most profound Love, which dictated that He should leave us a means of His own Presence among He left us with the best thing He had at His disposal...a loaf of unleavened bread and a cup of wine, which would not only represent Him, but BECOME Him! His own Flesh and Blood ~ the very same Flesh and Blood which was to be vilified and murdered the next day.
How do we recognize Him in this, His most Precious Gift to us? Do we visit Him often? Do we teach others about His waiting for us in His Hidden Home? ...or do we go about our daily lives, many times passing before our churches without a thought to Who is trapped inside? 
He is a voluntary Prisoner of Love, and yet, how often do we neglect Him in the Tabernacle? 
Sunday Holy Mass is NOT enough! He awaits all of us, who, as it turns out, are the keepers of the secrets of Heaven...where He is recognized for the God He is.
Are we recognizing Him here, for our own parts? Think about it, in all honesty ~ how are we really doing here? Here on Earth, for the duration of our life's voyage, how can we do any less??


Pablo said...



I enjoyed finding your blog and have added it as a favorite. your blog is a delious nugget of Roman Catholic beauty.

Please view my website, and please, don't forget to say a few Hail Marys for the Padres and the Nuns.

With the assurance of my prayers for all your good work in the vineyard of the Divine Master, I remain yours truly in Jesus and Mary Immaculate.


~~JennD.'J.M.J.'~* said...

hello, Pablo ~ What a sweet thing to say! Thank-you very much...I have added the Padres & Nuns to my daily prayers and when I visit the Blessed Sacrament I will remember them all ~ and you!
I did check out your website and it is beautiful!!! I added it to my favorites, also.
Please feel free to visit anytime and I welcome your company...I look forward to any comments you might have, as well.
God bless!

Esther said...

Jenn, thanks for sharing this. This is our family's favorite mysteries.

Jennifer said...

I am reading Mother Angelica's new book and the same things I have been reading lately were right here in your blog today! Coincidence that I read them at the same time? Never is! :o) Know what? I absolutely LOVE Mother Angelica, and what you have written reminds me of her (except maybe a little sweeter and lighter) :o)

That's just about the biggest compliment I can think to give anyone! :o)

Marie said...

Beatiful reflection Jenn:)

BTW You have been Memed:)

Peace and JOY to you:)

Marie xooxoxo