Today, we celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Patroness of Poland and an intercessor for mothers everywhere. The lovely icon of of Our Blessed Mother and Jesus is a comfort to moms everywhere who pray daily for Our Lady’s intercession in the lives of their children. Mary knows absolutely the pains and joys we mothers bear on behalf of our children. The visible scars she bears on her face in this representation mirror the pain she bore on behalf of her Son, out of the depths of her love for Him. Mary, our mother carries this same love for you and I, her children. She can be a source of strength and compassion for us when the burdens of parenting sometimes feel to great to bear alone. Our Lady of Czestochowa, pray for us!
Fr. Bertand Buby’s Scripture Reflection for 8/26/11
I Thessalonians 4:1-8. Psalm 97:1.2.5-6.10.11-12. Matthew 25:1-13
Scripture is persistent. Again and again we hear we are called to holiness.
This is both thematic in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. It is
very strong in Matthew and equally so in Paul who is revealing what it
means to be holy to the community at Thessalonica. We listen as
attentively to his words as they did. This call thus starts with the
earliest of the writings in the New Testament and will be carried on down
through the centuries through preaching and through the living examples of
so many holy people whom we call saints, that is, holy ones.
The call to holiness is for everyone as Vatican II tells us in the
foundational Constitution on the Church; it is a central message of the
Council for us as Church. This is good for us, for we need to be reminded
often of the call to be holy even as God is holy! This is what brings
about peace, joy, and love within the community and within the world.
In this fourth chapter of Paul’s words to the Thessalonians the call is
clearly and compellingly expressed. Paul now is at his best in exhorting
and encouraging us to grow in holiness. We are to realize our dignity as
human beings created in the image and likeness of God. Paul gives us Jesus
both as our exemplar and as our Lord who wants us to put on the life that
he has given to us. We are to be imitators of Christ even as Paul is.
Jesus has become one with us to show us the way to holiness.
Paul writes, “It is God’s will that you grow in holiness. God has not
called us to immorality but to holiness. God sends his holy Spirit upon us
and where the Spirit is God is there as the all holy One.” We hear from our
tradition that as Christians we are to be ever mindful of our dignity.
Our Psalm inspires us with this thought: “Be glad in the Lord, you just
(holy ones), and give thanks to his Holy Name. Amen. (Psalm 97:12).