Thursday, September 16th
‘Let us go the Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’
These words uttered in joy and amazement on the Shepherd’s Field not far from here, have been repeated and followed down the centuries by countless pilgrims. Isn’t it astonishing and wonderful that we too have heard and can say “Let us go to Bethlehem!” Did we ever think, any of us, that we would see this day and come to the precise spot where Jesus was seen with human eyes for the first time?
This is appropriately our first Mass of the week – where it all began – as we begin our pilgrimage of faith and joy. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were here.
The joy of Mary and Joseph was now increased. We must remember that we look back with hindsight, but Mary and Joseph had told no-one at this point that Jesus was born and now visitors came in and told them about angels singing in the skies! Everyone who heard it was astonished! (as we read in the psalm today - ‘The skies proclaim his justice’ and ‘light Shines forth’)
The shepherds were the poor (illiterate) unskilled, lowly, humble and looked down on, yet those on the margins were the first to hear this great news! The shepherds were to come to the Shepherd of all mankind, and of all of us, as he would later refer to Himself, as the Good Shepherd and ‘those who belong to me listen to my voice.’ The shepherds of the lambs see the Lamb of God.
Mary’s heart not only swelled with love and pride but joy at what was being said of her son.
We like Mary are called to ‘treasure all these things and hold them in our hearts.
Am I in need of re-assurance, hope, joy, fulfilment – that God will bring and fulfil his promises?
Am I called to spread the Good News?
Am I called to lift up the broken-hearted? To reassure others? To be a light to others?
Am I good at meditating, pondering, reassuring the word of God in my heart?
Let us glorify and praise God!
Generations have come and more will follow to come to this hallowed spot. We celebrate Christmas in a little over three months time – but to have come here is to realise that ‘Emmanuel’ born for us means ‘God is with us’. On Christmas day all of us will remember these moments! “God is with us”. God is with you. God is with me.
As we leave this beautiful joyful tranquil spot, let us ponder, treasure, glorify and praise God for what we have seen and heard. Let us repeat to others what we have been told about Him.
Let us let others know the joy we celebrate and possess. That God is with us, with me, with them – in joy and sorrow, in good times and bad.
OUR LADY'S BITHPLACE, BETHESDA
It is appropriate to be here ona saturday. This week in the Holy land,we are sharing unique once in a lifetime experiences. we have seen the places associated with the following mysteries of the Rosary
• Institution of the Eucharist
• Carrying of the Cross
• Coming of the Holy Spirit
We can visualise and it helps to meditate better on the Rosary, stations, Gospel readings.
The mysteries of the rosary parallel the mysteries in our own lives.
We are moved by
- Joyful mysteries (of Life)
- Birthdays, Christenings, meetings (reunions)
- Sorrowful Mysteries (of life)
- Anguish, suffering, betrayal by friends, abandonment, loss, suffering, physical pain, separation condemnation, (relief from this), taunts mourning, watching loved ones die.
- Luminous Mysteries- God gives us illumination
- This week we undergo illumination, enlightenment, conversion, change, guidance, direction in our vocation, and meaning.
but we must believe that the Glorious mysteries are NO LESS REAL.
- Glorious Mysteries (in faith)
- Coming of the Holy Spirit
Where Mary has gone, we hope to follow.