Monday, March 25, 2019

Marianist Monday

A Holy Dynamism by Antonio de Oteiza
The Annunciation of the Lord
March 25

The Annunciation is the beginning of God’s plan of salvation. Thus, the Incarnation achieves its full meaning only in Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. Nazareth and Calvary, Mary’s “yes” at the Annunciation and at the foot of the cross, are intimately linked. At the moment Mary responded, “let it be done to me according to your word,” she became engaged in the whole of God’s design to recreate creation in his Son.

The Annunciation is the beginning of a holy dynamism which makes of Mary the first disciple of her Son, and the mother of His brothers and sisters. Mary’s posture in the sculpture is erect, confident, and full of holy dynamism. The people in the lower left corner are the sons and daughters she will lead to her Son.

Marianist Vision and Spirit:
University of Dayton

Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Sunday Word

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Jesus is in the middle of a riff on repentance in today's Sunday Gospel.

He focuses on the importance of Israel, God's people, recognizing their need for a savior lest they experience the judgment of God. In doing so he relays a parable about an unfruitful fig tree, a tree that in the estimation of its owner has been given more than enough time. But rather than cut it down, Jesus tells us of a gracious vinedresser who intercedes for the tree saying, "Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it."

It may seem insignificant but this one sentence from Jesus is an essential reminder to how God does his most important, yet often painfully slow, work of changing lives. When examining these words, most people immediately jump to the verbs, to the action. The vinedresser, Jesus, wants to dig and fertilize. In relational terms we could think of this as the essential components of truth and love. To bring about change, God tills the soil of our hearts and minds with his truth -- ripping out the weeds of lies and the old roots of sin and making way for good things to be planted. He then adds in the fertilizer, or in real terms love, the truth of the Gospel and the promise of his unrelenting compassion in Christ, which serves to enrich our soil, begins to take root and spurs on new growth. Life change takes truth and love.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

St. Joseph: Like wife, like husband

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Marianist brothers in Cincinnati in 1876. This is among the oldest photos of U.S. Marianists.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph comprise the Holy Family, the basic unit of God’s strategy for the Incarnation and Redemption. They belong together in the history of salvation. The three are inseparable and should be seen and understood together theologically, pastorally and in sacred art.

We must not forget St. Joseph. What he did for Jesus and Mary, he will do for us personally and for the universal Church.

In this third millennium of Christianity, Jesus and Mary will bring us closer to Joseph as we realize more clearly and deeply the mission of the Holy Family in salvation history. Veneration of St. Joseph will increase in proportion to the intensity of our devotion to Jesus and Mary. Like wife, like husband.

St. Joseph’s feast day is March 19. St. Joseph the Worker feast day is May 1.

Like Wife, Like Husband: Why should we honor St. Joseph? 


Friday, March 22, 2019

St. Joseph: Fountain of holiness

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The Gospel says that Joseph was “a righteous man” (Mt 1:19). Some people ask: What more can be said?
Plenty! In 1989, Pope John Paul II offered us a masterful explanation and reflection of the unique vocation of St. Joseph in God’s plan of salvation with the pastoral exhortation Redemptoris Custos (“Guardian of the Redeemer”). This inspirational document, marking the centenary of Pope Leo’s landmark encyclical, treats “the person and mission of St. Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church.” It recalls what makes him special, not only for us personally but for the universal Church.

Some note that Joseph’s role must not have been so important because it is not treated in any great detail in holy Scripture. Yet neither is the vocation of Mary. What little is said, however, is highly significant.

Theologians have reasoned from the scriptural basics to explore many of the functions and privileges grant ed Mary. The same process has taken place in regard to Joseph. Once the divinity of Jesus and the virginal motherhood of Mary were firmly established in Catholic doctrine and in popular understanding, teaching about Joseph could emerge without concern that his unique position in the Holy Family would be misunderstood.

The better we know Mary, the better we know her Son, from whom she derives all her dignity and whom she reflects so faith-fully. In a similar way, contemplating more deeply the mission of Joseph helps us to know more deeply the greatness of Mary.

Pope Benedict XV summed it up this way: “By St. Joseph we are led directly to Mary, and by Mary to the fountain of all holiness, Jesus Christ, who sanctified the domestic virtues by his obedience to St. Joseph and Mary.”

Like Wife, Like Husband: Why should we honor St. Joseph? 


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Saint Joseph, pray for us!

St. Joseph & Jesus, Bro. Joseph Aspell - Dayton

This week we celebrated the Feast of Saint Joseph. Joseph was a member of the Holy Family along with Mary and Jesus. Saint Joseph has always been considered to be a patron of all members of the Marianist Family.

Let us pray:

Joseph, it was to you that the Father entrusted his Son
and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Continue to be for us a sign of God’s love in the Church, Mary’s family today. By the inspiration of your faith and love, draw our community closer to Mary, our Mother, and to Christ, our Brother. Share with us your love of Mary. Give us the joy of growing in our devotion to Mary and to her family.

May the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen.