The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Monday, April 14, 2003
Monday of Holy Week

The Readings
Isaiah 42: 1 7 First song of the Suffering Servant. "I formed you and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations.
Psalm 27 The Lord is My light and my salvation
John 12:1 11 Mary anoints the feet of Jesus

St. Gaspar del Bufalo
The soul, therefore, loves the life of prayer. [The king] brought me into the cellar of wine. The love of God is symbolized by wine. Just as wine when drunk in moderation takes away sadness, so [with prayer]. But as for this wine cellar, happy the person who becomes inebriated! [The soul] ardently seeks God in moments of conversation pondering the extent of his love in becoming our teacher, father and redeemer. How the soul seeks to please him by extending its own ardent longings. It hears from the cross: `Sitio': "I thirst." And what it would not do in response. It weeps for those who do not weep, prays for those who do not pray. It seeks in some way to compensate for the many injustices directed at the Lord, and for his despised honor. It knows too that souls have cost him blood and it meditates on the reasons for divine forbearance. The soul prays for those who labor in the Lord's vineyard, hurrying to do what good it can, never ceasing to pray. "My people," it hears the Lord say, "what damage has been brought forth in the world due to a lack of prayer." Meanwhile, to appease the Father the soul offers the blood of Jesus Christ: Look upon the face of your anointed.

Ipse est magister He is our teacher - Once converted, Jesus leads the soul to the wounds of his feet so that it might persevere, saying: "Flee, daughter, from the near occasions of sin, lest you reopen these wounds and trample this blood. Your sins would then serve as nails." [The soul responds]: "Lord, make my steps steadfast in your paths..." "Make my foot stand on level ground. (3)." "Walk while you have the light." (4)

These first three weekdays of Holy Week the Gospel will ask us to reflect on Judas. Today it is a contrast between Judas and Mary of Bethany. Mary enters and anoints the feet of Jesus. She seeks to serve. Judas complains about the extravagance, but it is clear he seeks to serve himself.

In many ways the events of this week can be seen as a march toward death, yet here we find an affirmation of life. In our own day life may seem an adversary to some. The move toward euthanasia and the emphasis on abortion and the death penalty tell us that the sacredness of life is still unknown to some. Jesus, as the very source of life, is unknown to those who seek to kill him. Yet Mary seeks to be the nurturing, hospitable presence to Jesus in spite of all the array of the powers of death against him.

St. Gaspar asks us to imitate the actions of Mary of Bethany. In seeking to somehow compensate for all the acts of violence against life, Gaspar calls his missionaries and his correspondents to prayer, the wine cellar, to the feast where Jesus can be anointed again with the oil of gladness, where even in the face of death we are willing to reverence and affirm life. He draws us to his wounded feet for acts of reverence so as not to become the nails that pierce him. With Mary of Bethany we come to Jesus to serve him and to compensate for Judas who still seeks to serve himself.

- Whom have I nurtured, served today?
- How do I affirm the sacredness of life?
- Describe the wine cellar of prayer to which Jesus has led you?

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 12:36 AM link
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