Friday, November 21 ~ Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Holy Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50 While He was still speaking to the people, behold, His mother and His brethren stood outside, asking to speak to Him. But He replied to the man who told Him, “Who is My mother, and who are My brethren?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brethren! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother, and sister, and mother.”
Meditation: Jesus is God’s love incarnate – God’s love made flesh (ref. 1 John 4:9-10). That is why Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep and the shepherd who seeks out the sheep who have strayed and lost their way. God is like the father who yearns for his prodigal son to return home and then throws a great party for him when he repents and comes back. Jesus offered up his life on the cross for our sake, so that we could be forgiven and restored to unity with God. It is through Jesus that we become the adopted children of God – his own sons and daughters. That is why Jesus told his disciples that they would have many new friends and family relationships in his kingdom. Whoever receives the Sacrament of Baptism and who does the will of God is a friend of God and a member of his family.
Prayer: As we venerate the glorious memory of the most holy Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession, that we, too, may merit to receive from the fullness of your grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: Our life with Jesus Christ changes the order of relationships and shows that true kinship is not just a matter of flesh and blood. Our adoption as sons and daughters of God transforms all our relationships and requires a new order of loyalty to God first and to his kingdom of righteousness and peace. The Sacrament of Baptism begins our life with Christ. “God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into his holy people” (Rite of Baptism). “Name of Baptized, you have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ” (Rite of Baptism). “Dearly beloved, this child has been reborn in baptism. He (she) is now called the child of God, for so indeed he (she) is” (Rite of Baptism). Do you want to grow in love and friendship? Allow God’s Holy Spirit to conform your heart, mind, and will to enable you to faithfully live and love as Christ does.