Read, Pray, Listen
- Read, ponder, tell me about YOUR day. I welcome your comments and read them all. I only re-post positive, helpful comments.
In today's reading we hear the story of Naaman, a foreigner who came to Israel to be cured of his leprosy. Elisha, the prophet of God, instructed Naaman to dip himself in the Jordan river 7 times. When Naaman came out of the water, his body was clean of the disease. He proclaimed, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel."
There is a lot of leprosy in the Bible. Both in the old Testament and the New. In the Old Testament there are rules for lepers. In the New Testament we see Jesus healing lepers. Leprosy, now called Hansen's Disease, was a big problem in the time of Jesus. It is still a problem in various places of the world. But what does that have to do with us?
The Seventh Sorrow of Mary occurs when the tomb of her beloved son Jesus is closed and sealed. Guards are posted. Mary is completely cut off from her son, even from viewing or tending his body. All is lost. Jesus is gone.
But Jesus made a promise. He said that he would rise again on the third day. Still, his mother grieved like any mother. She had to believe his words by faith. Looking at that tomb, seeing the guards, her faith must have had to be very strong.
There are times in our lives when it feels like all is lost. If you have ever buried or cremated someone you love, you know that terrible feeling of loss. Mary felt the loss. But she also had hope.
The Sixth Sorrow of Mary occurs when Jesus is placed into his mother's arms. He is gone. There is no shred of hope that he might be spared. It is final. It is finished. Imagine Mary's pain. She holds the man who was her baby, her little boy, her grown-up son. But He was more than that. He was her Lord and her Savior. She was the first one to know he was God. She carried God in her body. She not only loved her Son, she worshipped Him.
Today let us pray for all those who are touched by death in all its finality. Those who receive home the body of a dead soldier son, daughter, husband or wife. Those whose dead child is placed in their arms. Those who lose a baby. Those who must say good-bye to a parent, a friend, or a loved one.
While someone is dying, we desperately hope for some intervention, some miracle. Once they are gone, we are numb with grief and shock. The one we love was there one minute, completely gone the next.
There are other kinds of death that become final. Divorce. Abandonment. Disability, loss of limb, of eyesight, of hearing, of mobility. Pray for all those who face one kind of death or another on this day. Pray for the WHOLE world of suffering people. Pray that they would find hope, even in their moment of grief. And that they, like Mary, would trust completely in the promises of Christ; and if they don't know Christ, that God would comfort them in another, personal way. Pray that good people would come to their help.
During Lent, pray BIG. Pray for all who hurt. Be merciful to others. God knows who they are.
She was a normal, happy Jewish child who believed in God and knew He loved her. Then something terrible happened. She was hurt by an acquaintance, wounded in a way she couldn't understand. Little by little, the wound buried itself deep in her heart.
As a teen she lost her faith. She became an agnostic and lived for herself. She had affair after affair, always seeking love, a husband, a family, but finding that her promiscuous lifestyle was making her depressed, anxious and empty.
Listen to how Dawn Eden, author of the best-selling book, The Thrill of the Chaste found peace, forgiveness and new life in Christ and in His Church. Hear her joy. And find out about her new book, to be released this week. Remembering God's Mercy: Redeem the Past and Free Yourself from Painful Memories.
The Fifth Sorrow of Mary is when Mary stands at the foot of the cross of her beloved son, Jesus. Now the sword is piercing her heart. There is nothing she can do, he is dying. Though she may understand partially, she is still a human mother. Her pain is excruciating. She wishes she could die in his place.
When we pray this Sorrow of Mary we remember all those who are watching a loved one die today. Every parent watching a dying child. Every child watching a dying parent. A husband, watching a dying wife. A friend, watching a dying friend. And of course, those who are dying alone. We can pray for everyone in the whole world who is by the side of the dying, especially those who have no Christian hope. We can pray for every single person who dies today without another person to keep watch with them.
On the cross, Jesus is in the hands of God. His mother can do nothing.