Pope Francis has asked all the bishops to celebrate mass at 11:00 AM today, same time the Pope will be celebrating mass in Italy, their time 6:30 pm. The purpose of this mass is to consecrate the Ukraine and Russia to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Prayer has won wars. And this is extremely important as the war continues with little chance of stopping anytime soon. Our Bishop Powers has requested that all priests also pray the same consecration prayer given to us by Pope Francis. We will do so at our Friday masses.
We know the gospel message of the annunciation. The angel Gabriel informs Mary she is the chosen one to carry the Son of God. The readings today have a sub theme running through them. I have labeled this sub theme ‘Show Up’.
Begin with Ahaz, through the prophet Isiah, God has told Ahaz to ask for any kind of sign. With false humility, Ahaz fails to show up. Isaiah steps up and God speaks through him. A virgin shall be with child.
The psalm challenges us to show up to the will of God. Here I Am! The second reading, ‘behold, I come to the will of God.’ The Letter to the Hebrews picks up them of showing up. God does not want sacrifices; He wants us to show up and to do His Will.
There are many ways to not show up. Physically we can remove ourselves. We can intentionally zone out or just not pay attention. We can follow our distractions. We can refuse God. How do these things happen? I think we know. We do not spend time in prayer. We get distracted in prayer of at Mass and do not refocus on what is in front of us. We miss mass. We do not spend time in reading the Bible. We forget prayer time. And the list can go on. The point is, we did not show up!
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen