Thursday, August 24, 2017

Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle

"Come here. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." He took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendor of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal.

The Church is the Bride of Christ and the wife of the Lamb. This relationship with God is mirrored in Mary, who is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Both Church and Mary have given their fiat to God. They have magnified Him, rejoiced in Him, and proclaimed Him through their thoughts, words, and works. Mary prefigures the Church. She is the model upon which the Church is formed. Her virtues are the virtues of the Church, her sacrifices are the sacrifices of the Church. It is through Mary that the Word was made Flesh and Jesus Christ was brought into the world. It is through the Church that the Eucharistic Feast is celebrated and Jesus Christ is made present to us today. Just as Mary gave her life completely to knowing, loving, and serving God, so too has the Church throughout the ages. Just as Mary was infallible in her faith, so too the doctrines of the Church are infallible, even though individuals within the Church are not. As Mary is the Seat of Wisdom who will never fail us, so too the collected Wisdom of the Church is something that cannot fail. Mary and the Church both guide us toward Christ in their own ways and we would do well to follow their lead.

Do we ask Mary for her help and guidance? Do we seek out the wisdom of the Church when we are in difficulty or doubt? How can we become more like Mary and the Church in our faith lives?

O Lord, guide us through Mary and the Church to your Divine Wisdom.


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