Today’s Thoughts: Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Lourdes has always been regarded as a place of peace, a place connected with the sick and struggling. I, myself, found Lourdes to be a truly remarkable place when I spent two days there last August.
Pausing to honor Mary is always a good thing to do. Today we honor her visit to Lourdes back in the middle of the 19th century to a simple little girl named Bernadette. We also honor the ongoing gift of healing through Mary that has taken place in Lourdes since her appearance. As I have shared with you many times, I am very much aware of the role Mary has played in my own family’s life. My father visited Lourdes during World War II and asked Mary for a special favor. He asked Mary to keep him safe so that he could return home to my mother and begin a family. He dedicated his first female child to Mary and said he would name her Bernadette. My father made it home, my sister’s name is Bernadette and thanks to my mother and father, my sister, my brother and I were given the gift of life. Mary is truly a special person.
In our first reading (1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30) focuses us on the temple that Solomon builds for God and our Gospel focuses us on the fact that the Pharisees and scribes the religious leaders of Jesus’ time put more importance on the accidentals of life rather than the essentials. I think our readings have something to say to us today.
In our first reading Solomon dedicates the temple but reminds the people and reminds us that God is much larger than any building. A temple, a church, a chapel are sacred and holy places to go to but we must always remember that God is much larger than any building, any place. We must always remember that God is always with us, God is always within us!
And our Gospel reminds us that there are essentials in faith and there are non-essentials. We need to be able to recognize what is important and what is not. Sometimes we forget, or we place more importance on the non-essentials than on the essentials. Solomon remind us what is important the presence of God. The Pharisees and scribes always seem to remind us what is not.
Today is also the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. So as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes today, we are reminded that Mary lived from her heart by showing the essentials of faith compassion, mercy and love. She touched the heart St. Bernadette 18 times back in 1858. St. Bernadette took Mary’s gift to her own heart and brought it to the hearts of the world. How each of these women lived is the gift we celebrate today. What they believed, what they held in their hearts is how they lived and the faith they shared with the world.
Have a great Tuesday everyone.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...