DON’T FORGET TO READ THE GOSPEL FIRST
Before anyone freaks out and sends me documentary evidence that the beetles were NOT referring to “Mary the mother of Jesus,” with their smash hit “Let It Be,” cool your jets…I know! But I am using those same words to refer to Jesus’ mom – and for the record, I don’t feel one bit bad about it: they stole God’s “Let It Be” from his real-time creation masterpiece for their title without giving Him any credit!
When I sat down to begin writing this reflection, a strong sense came that I should share about a recent miracle that I and several other people, in several other provinces, experienced simultaneously, having to do with the sun.
I normally don’t share about miracles – which are now happening in my life every other day – because, in a sense, they’re really not important. On the other hand, so many people are without faith I thought that perhaps sharing might be a way for people to perk up their interest in getting serious about saving their souls before it’s too late, so I think I’ll start sharing about more of them, with the STRONG caveat that if they don’t help you in your journey to God you should delete them – curse them even – because nothing else matters but our getting to know and love Jesus more.
Besides, for those living in the Divine Will, light and insight comes to see that everything is a miracle sustained by the ever-present power and being of God.
I participate in an online “zoom-like” prayer cenacle every Sunday evening, where about 15 people on average sign on from week-to-week for what usually turns into about a 2 hr prayer session.
We take a reading from the Flame of Love Diary of Elizabeth Kindleman and share our thoughts and reflections, say a number of prayers together, offer up prayer intentions, which we each vocalize in turn, then pray the Flame of Love Rosary. One of the most beautiful times in my week for sure!
A RECENT MIRACLE OF THE SUN IN ATLANTIC CANADA
A little over a hundred years ago, at the final apparition of Mary, mother of Jesus to the three children, a “miracle of the sun” took place.
The amazing thing about this event, that struck me many years ago when I was researching this event, were the articles in the secular media following its occurrence – a secular media that was especially critical of the Catholic Church at the time, mocking it routinely.
What the paper wrote on the day following the miracle of the sun and final apparition of Mary to the children was quite a departure from that attitude.
It was an “epiphany” of the truth of God’s plan for humanity and Mary’s role in that plan in the “end-times,” for thousands of people who witnessed the event.
The most amazing thing about it was that the three little children had said many days prior to it actually happening EXACTLY when the “lady” in the vision had said it would take place, right to the hour.
Enough people were already fascinated enough with the alleged apparitions by the children that had been taking place once a month for months that – despite heavy rain making the idea that a “miracle of the sun” would happen seem slightly preposterous – showed up with umbrellas. They were not disappointed.
Since that time, many people who have sought to truly surrender themselves completely to God and live continuously in His Divine Will – allowing the Spirit of Jesus to completely infuse and inspire every thought and action in their lives – are often being lead to make that decision by Mary.
Many have, as well, been graced with their own “miracle of the sun” – something of her “calling card” to those dedicating themselves to the mission to gather the harvest of souls for her Son in these last dark and tumultuous days.
I’ve talked to countless people who have had such experiences, many multiple times, and although I have experienced many miracles in my life that all make amazing stories, a “sun” miracle wasn’t one of them.
When our prayer cenacle started at 7:30 some weeks back, one of our participants was set up in a living room overlooking a beautiful rural vista facing the setting sun.
When it came time for that person to say something (forget now, prayer intentions I think) she mentioned that she was watching the sun expand and contract.
We said, “Mary is saying hi, and telling us that she’s with us in prayer to her Son,” and just carried on with our cenacle, the miracle still happening, presumably…(I mean seriously, how long do you have to watch a sun pulsating and spinning and changing colours before you say, “Ok, I get it” )?
I decided to “sneak out” of the cenacle when it was mentioned that the miracle was happening right at that moment, thinking, “same sun…so….” – (my video setting was off and my audio muted) to see if I could see if the sun was acting up over here in PEI as well.
Sure enough, in a most marvellous way, I could see spinning and colours and pulsating…ah, thank you God! I only watched for about 10 seconds or so, then realized they might be saying, “And your prayer intentions Kevin? Kevin? Earth to Kevin!” so I bustled back to the room where my computer was set up.
Turns out the person who first noticed it took a bit of video and a few pictures, and although I don’t believe it is as spectacular as what was seen before the camera started, it will give you some sense of what the experience was like I suppose.
FULL CONFESSION: I just wasted 1/2 hour looking for the file of the video of the miracle of the sun that I ACTUALLY SEEN and my computer is such a mess – no luck. What I’ve put up is another video taken by the same person some days after the one I from the evening I saw it as well. It was shared with members of our Sunday night prayer cenacle.
The following three pictures below, however, were from the video clip I couldn’t seem to put my hands on of the event before finally deciding to hit the post button this morning.
What I find even more touching and powerful than the video are these three pictures. Although apparently some people can’t “see it” in the clouds, to me it appeared so clear that I literally jumped a bit when I first say the full picture, like a parent suddenly seeing a toddler wobbling on the edge of a sharp drop somewhere.
What immediately appeared to me the full picture of Jesus, and I thought his’ left hand had somehow torn free from the cross because of the angle and his weight, and that he was in danger of “falling” completely off the cross… and there was Mary positioned to catch Him if He did, or try at least, without a thought for herself.
Her lovingly reaching up to her son on the cross like that….rising out of the light from the setting sun that was spinning and pulsating, that’s what touched me, that was the miracle for me – not the sun.
Those are the three pictures I was sent.
They’re not just pictures to me, when I first saw them I was moved and changed for the good with a sympathetic (or is it “empathetic”…both I think) deep connection with the heart of Mary as it reached out to her son hanging (almost falling off with torn flesh from the spikes) – oblivious to everything else.
The impact of that sudden image of Mary in the REAL sky above our heads reaching and straining and longing with the entirety of her desire to ease the suffering of her Son brought tears to my eyes and softened the soil of my heart to more fully receive her son Jesus, the eternal Word, the “seed” of God:
“…humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save your souls.” [James 1:21].
Mary loves Jesus with all her heart, as any kind and loving mother would love her only son who sacrificed himself out of love for us by giving himself completely in submission to mockery, torture and death to save us from eternal suffering.
That’s the kind of love I want for Jesus – that’s makes Mary my perfect model as I strive to imitate Him in my life and allow the Holy Spirit to do for me what Mary allowed the Holy Spirit to do for her – everything – giving her the ability to live in the Divine Will always, which is the flame of love burning constantly in her heart, which is Jesus, which is why me and mom are indeed on very good speaking terms.
That was the miracle of the sun that happened with me, not some pulsating orb in the sky that won’t be around someday, but for people far from God, perhaps even struggling to believe that there even IS a God, I felt it might be a grace and a blessing so I shared it today.
O.k., enough of that…now down to the important stuff.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT OUR DEAR MOTHER MARY
Regardless of what Christians from any denomination may think of Mary the mother of Jesus, they can’t deny that she is OUR MOTHER too.
Not only did Jesus (as some of His final words on cross, before handing over His Spirit to the Father) explicitly say to John: “Behold YOUR mother,” making her our mother as well, being fellow “sisters and brothers” with John as members of the human race.
Mary is also to be understood to truly be OUR MOTHER by virtue of the fact that when we are baptized into the life of Jesus, we become members of His church, His body, and co-heirs of eternal life in God by with Him by“participation.”
Through that spiritual adoption made possible by the mercy and love of the Father, who sent His only Son into the world, who then manifested that same mercy and love in perfect obedience to the Father, thereby sharing perfectly the same desires, thoughts, plans, etc. in the same Holy Spirit, Jesus did nothing but the Father’s Will while living in the world, which makes our participation in God a 100% pure gift, completely unearned.
If we lack the humility to see that foundational truth about who we are and who we are not, we will be unable to imitate Jesus because our sense of sense that is not in God will be a barrier to the fullness of transformation that happens when a complete “fiat” [May it be done!] is given, as Mary gave.
If we ever get the idea that we are somehow ‘worthy’ of anything before God, we’ll need to take a time-out, sit down with a pen and paper, and see if we can put together a list of all the reasons why that is the case….that we are “worthy”.
I suspect it’ll take about 10 minutes of “blanking” while staring at a blank sheet to “check the ego” at the door where Jesus is knocking, awaiting the return of our full attention and desire when we realize the empty search for any “good” in us outside God, and get back on track.
So, I simply ask all those who are Christians but fear Mary as a threat to our core belief that JESUS is “all in all,” the only mediator between God and human beings, the Savior of the World, the only begotten Son of God, the eternal Word in and through which all things were, are and forever shall be to go easy on mom!
She’s the perfect disciple because she knew what she could and couldn’t do, and was very clear with the angel Gabriel that what she was being asked to do was not within her means:
“How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
Once the angel told her the Holy Spirit would take care of everything, that was all Mary needed to hear! Perfect disciple of the Lord:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it happen to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
ARE YOU ON THE OUTS WITH MOM? TIME TO TALK!
If you are a fellow Christian, I ask: “What kind of relationship do you have with mom?”
What? You don’t even talk to her….EVER? Do you really think that is pleasing to Jesus…treating his mom like that? Careful!
Do you never talk with Mary because you you think Jesus is going to pop up somewhere yelling: “HEY….what do you think you’re doing? I’M OVER HERE!”
I appreciate that not all readers of my daily reflection belong to the Roman Catholic church. I also understand that some have a very different understanding of the role of Mary in God’s plan of salvation, and I respect completely. Hopefully, we can agree that Mary is not “competition” to Jesus taking us away from our Saviour, but just the opposite: it is impossible to love Mary more without at the same time loving Jesus more…she’s all about Jesus!
Most of what is perceived as “differences” in our understanding and relationship with Mary are probably mostly misunderstandings regarding nuances in meaning, putting a different focus or emphasis on some things to the detriment of others, etc.
Having said that, given Mary’s central role in these last days, it would be foolish to shy away from the core teachings in Scripture and the magisterium of the Catholic Church about Mary for fear of stepping on someone’s toes.
On the other hand, I noticed I was avoiding doing that a bit simply because to broach those more sensitive interdenominational or ‘ecumenical’ issues among Christians requires a lot of sharing and dialogue to overcome the misunderstandings and forge a common understanding, which takes time, and time is a commodity in short supply these days.
We need to think of our mom Mary as a key member of the family – a person we’re in a loving relationship with – not a doctrine.
MARY THE MOTHER OF “US” – THE MOTHER OF THE “CHURCH”
We are the church, so if Mary is our mother, because we are brothers and sisters of her son Jesus, members of his body in the church he established as the Kingdom of God that will have no end, then Mary is the mother of the church…simple logic:
- All dogs have four legs, without exception = PREMISE 1
- I have a dog = PREMISE 2
- My dog has four legs = LOGICAL CONCLUSION
DON’T THROW BABY JESUS OUT WITH THE CHURCH’S DIRTY BATH WATER
That is NOT the same thing as what the current shepherds may or may not being doing in harmony with the will of God in service to the church established by Jesus – the one the “gates of hell ” would not prevail against, remember?
Jesus warned us numerous times of the false shepherds that were WITHIN the church (they wouldn’t be “shepherds” otherwise) so I struggle with people who want to disassociate themselves from the Catholic church when corruption and false shepherds appear! What’s up with that? Jesus didn’t say…“and when you see them, cancel your membership and form ANOTHER church” – how could there be more than “one” church when we’re all united in the same body – Jesus?
We should not be surprised with evil within the church, but we need to be very clear that the evil within the church DOES NOT DEFINE the church, nor does it in any way negate the authenticity of the core teachings that have their basis in scripture and the long tradition within the Church going right back to Peter and Paul sorting out what the approach of the church would be with various matters, i.e., what parts of the law gentile Christians must follow, etc.
Again, I can’t do better than STRONGLY recommend the following excellent clarification of what I just mentioned almost in passing from Mark Mallett on this key point! If you are a Catholic Christian, this is absolutely NOT the time to abandon the church, but to double our efforts and prayers for the church – to be a witness of what TRUE church is, never watering down the Gospel, never doubting the “real presence” of our Lord in the consecrated host, nor weakening the Gospel message by not honestly acknowledging the true cost of radical discipleship to Jesus [everything, including “self”] no matter how many fellow-Catholics may choose to go the lukewarm route, or even abandon the church.
At such times, we need to recall those words of Jesus when he established Peter (literally meaning “rock” in Greek, and let’s not forget that this was a new name that Jesus gave SIMON when he called him to be a disciple) as the rock upon which His church would be build, which he would protect til He comes again. We are called to remain standing on that rock, and that won’t change even if Pope Francis was to grow horns tomorrow and start spitting fire with glowing eyes.
TODAY’S GOSPEL: MARY THE MODEL DISCIPLE
My preambles are longer than my reflections because the main insight or idea that comes to me when I pray and begin writing needs a different framework for properly understanding or seeing in the correct light. Many ideas we have need to be revised to accommodate more foundational insights and teachings. Such is the case with today’s Gospel.
Those not grasping the deep meaning – and respect Jesus was bestowing on His Mother with this teaching – may see His words about His mother as reinforcing the idea that Mary’s role was a “birthing” role, which she did, thank you very much, but is now no longer to be given another thought, no more than a modern family employing the fertility services of a “surrogate” mom would give thought to her after the baby was born and handed over. Yuck!
Mary is not a doctrine to be defined – she is a person, the mother of our Lord and Saviour and brother Jesus, and our mother as well.
She is also the perfect model of discipleship, so it is not surprising that Jesus would establish that by POINTING TO HIS CHOSEN DISCIPLES when he said what he said about who his mother REALLY is – the model of discipleship we should follow if we want to experience what Jesus is calling us to experience – life eternal in Him.
MARY, THE END-TIMES, AND “LIVING IN THE DIVINE WILL”
The other thing that any person doing the “due diligence” on Mary’s role in God’s plan of salvation must acknowledge is the following: Just as Mary brought Jesus into the world “in the flesh” so that Jesus would be made available to us for salvation; it has been decreed by God in His plan, from the very beginning, that just as eve was deceived by Satan bringing sin and death into the world, the “new eve” – Mary – would be the means whereby God would overcome that deception of Satan by sending His only Son, the Divine Truth, to forgive sins and conquer death.
That was the first “birthing” of Jesus into the world by Mary 2,000 years ago.
Scripture and prophecy tell us that in the last days Mary will once again be the means through which Jesus will be “birthed” into the world, in a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit – a “second pentecost” that will usher in a new era of peace and give us the power and clarity of vision of truth to truly live as God’s children, at in unity with one another, enjoying the same Spirit, believing the same things, and WANTING the same things as as well; and all of that will be the great goodness and grace that comes from living open to, and in God’s presence.
Mary’s pregnancy this time around is showing “birth pangs” manifesting in the world, exactly as prophesied:
“Birth pangs, in terms of Bible Prophecy, refers to certain convulsive geopolitical, geophysical, astrophysical and world-wide socio-economic events and issues scheduled to occur in the time leading up to Jesus Christ’s Second Advent (second coming).These are likened to the contractions experienced by a woman about to give birth, with those episodes increasing with frequency and intensity. Jesus’ foretelling of these birth pangs use the word “sorrows,” in His Olivet Discourse on end time things to come.”
It is key to understand that this “new pentecost” where the Spirit of Jesus is established in His people, his church, is the “birth” that comes via Mary – a manifestation of a great sign and revelation of Jesus for all the world to see. That’s Mary’s role in these end times. That’s what’s happening now.
As discussed in yesterday’s reflection, in the short-term, there will be much suffering and death come upon us just before the illumination of conscience event happens…the “three days of darkness” happens some undetermined time later.
What will be accomplished with the illumination will be the establishment of Mary the “model” of discipleship for all those called by God to be a part of his family – we’ll all be mothers in the sense Jesus was using in today’s Gospel then, because we will all be – like Mary – perfectly magnifying the glory of God, in total surrender and immersion in God’s Spirit and Will – like empty clear glass containers providing the conscious boundaries – but that’s all – for the independent, intelligent, free manifestation of the glory of God.
Then we will experience what Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well would characterize life in the Spirit of God, when truth reigns and the God’s children live by the Spirit of God, not their own human will concerned with self and enslaved in sin: worship in Spirit and Truth.
If you are interested in learning more about the flame of love movement exploding across the world – at least within the Catholic Church – contact Lori Currie, the provincial coordinator of the movement for PEI.
I know she’s extra busy with her new business “Icy Scoops” so be patient with any delays in getting a response, but I trust she will respond to answer your questions and provide you with all the materials and information you’ll need when she can.
I am, and will likely continue to be, extremely wary of making a big deal of “miracles,” so this post is likely to be a one-off o.k.?
Such happenings can so easily corrupt a more focussed dedication to what is truly important at this time – always important, really, but especially now, as notice has been issued that the train will be leaving the station soon, at some imminent, random time, so everyone is expected to onboard NOW! (curious, if you’re a catholic reading this: “When was the last time you went to confession? [asking for a friend – JESUS]).
“Jesus, help us to think of you and your mother as both working to bring in the harvest by both doing all you can to help us HELP US TO BRING IN THE HARVEST.
Give us a tender heart for your mother, like your mother, and the humility to be nothing but glass radiating your love – lost in your completely – mysterious and radiant like God!
Give us an inclination to go to her often for her loving always understanding and listening ear, knowing as we do that there is nothing that pleases her more than to see your children grow in knowledge and love for your son, and her son, Jesus. Help us to see how we can be – like her – magnifying glasses for Jesus and true servants of God.” Amen.