Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mary Mother of Jesus: Morning Star

Mary Mother of Jesus Christ is the "Morning Star" mentioned in the Bible. Many reasons can be given for this thought.

First: She labored for the coming of Christ her son and shared in his sufferings. She bore him, breast-fed him, was always on his side in his preaching. The Shining Unconquered Sun that we celebrate and adore is her son.

Second:  Mary is this hidden servant and mother who prophesied her role in the salvific plan of God "Behold from the day forward, all generations will count me blessed; because he who is mighty, he whose name is holy, has wrought for me his wonders" (Luke 1: 48, 49). In that sense she is the morning star leading all to her son. Mary has been venerated by both Christians and Muslims since early times. In our age, Mary appeared in Fatima, with a message for penance and an invitation to her Son. Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote about the veneration that Muslims have towards Mary which I believe is uniting Christians and Muslims today in spite of violence- see it here:

Third: It seemed for a while that Christian unity is dependent on our theologians. At least since Vatican II, the Catholic Church sought dialogue with our separated Christian brethren. For nearly 50 years, many meetings of theologians took place, yet the lack of consensus or agreement on certain dogmas remain an obstacle. When Pope Francis announced a few days ago that he is declaring the canonization of Pope John XXIII, without further proof for his sainthood, I thought this declaration was extraordinary...Today, by sheer accident, I came across the story of Myrna Al-Akhras of Damascus. Since the early 1980s she has claimed with support from bishops that the Virgin Mary Mother of God appeared to her and continued to give her messages for the unity of the Churches, for repentance and renewal of faith. Many miracles were obtained through Myrna as documented on the website Other miracles too were obtained through Mary's intercession to her Muslim daughters and sons. See this YouTube video (in Arabic):

If Mary calls for unity of Christians who will oppose her? She is honored by Christians and Muslims alike as the immaculate virgin.
And today we pray with Pope John XXIII and Pope Francis that the unity of Christians will take place in our hearts, in spite of violence instigated by opposing forces in Syria.
Since we talk about death in Syria, let me briefly mention the service we had tonight at the funeral home as one of our brothers in Church and Choir had departed to God.  In the service Fr. Georges Farah explained departure through death as a passing to a life beyond death. In his hand Fr. Farah had the icon of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. You see there Mary laid in the casket, like anyone who dies. You see around her the Apostles. The closest are John, who is quite sad, and Luke too. But Jesus standing on top is carrying a baby in his hand. Who is this baby? It is also Mary. So in the icon there is Mary’s body and also Mary being carried by Jesus. The meaning of the Assumption is here: As Mary carried Jesus in her womb and when he was a child, he also carries her when she is old and weak. This is what an ordinary man who cared for his family and friends and who took part in serving the community will receive. Heaven is not for saints who are canonized, but for many more hidden people whose lives are known to God alone. And the ancient hymn continues: Holy is God... Holy is the All-powerful...Holy is the Immortal.

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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