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Your mother is my mother. Reflection for marriages.John 19:25-34

GOSPEL

“Behold your son. Behold your mother”

From the Gospel according to John  19:25-34

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately Blood and water flowed out.

The Gospel of the Lord

Your mother is my mother.

Today we celebrate the memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. It might seem that this Gospel should end right after the verse where Jesus tells John that Mary is his Mother. However, the Gospel continues until the death of Jesus and the moment when His Most Sacred Heart is pierced, from which the Church emerges in the form of blood and water.

And why is this? Because Mary is the Mother of the Head of the Church, and therefore, in that moment, Mary also becomes the Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ, that is, the Mother of the Church, from which all the children of God will be born through baptism.

I gaze in admiration at Jesus in the Eucharist and ask Him: How far have You wanted to involve Yourself with humanity that You submit to the Motherhood of a human mother for eternity?

The Love of God remains a mystery difficult to fathom for someone as small as me. I want to delve deeper into Your Heart, Lord.

Applied to Married Life:

Cristina: Look, I married you, not your family.

Julian: Look, Cristina, it’s clear that you didn’t marry my parents, but by marrying me, you accepted my past, my present, and my future. And that very much includes my parents.

Cristina: of course, Julian, that sound lovely, but the reality is that your parents are your parents and mine are mine. Everyone has to handle their own problems. You know?

Julian: Look, you are a very devout woman. So I ask you to contemplate Christ. He marries humanity and accepts a human Mother, and names her the Mother of all the children of God. And God Himself accepts her as Mother and doesn’t say to Jesus, “Hey, she’s your Mother, and only yours.” Being One, He also accepts her as the Mother of God. We need to learn from Christ the Bridegroom to be good spouses. And I’m the first one, okay? Because I’m the first to admit that I don’t give myself like He does.

Cristina: Yes, let’s learn from Him. But in every way, okay?

Julio: In every way Cristina, in every way.

 

Mother,

Congratulations, Mother, thank you for welcoming us all as your children and for being the best Mother. The best! Blessed are you, Most Holy Virgin Mary.

 

In capital letters. Reflection for marriages. John 20, 19-23

Gospel

As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.Receive the Holy Spirit.

From the Gospel according to John. Jn 20, 19-23.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 

After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

In capital letters.

In the beginning God breathed into us the breath of life. We were a piece of animal flesh, but God breathed into us a human spirit, a soul capable of hosting heaven. But we decided to use our intelligence, our freedom and our will to compete with God on the path of self-sufficiency. 

Then Christ breathes into us again a breath of Life, this time even more relevant, this time it is “in capital letters”, because he breathes into us a new Spirit, also “in capital letters”. This time it is eternal life, this time it is the definitive life, this time it is the Infinity, this time there are no limits. This time, aiming for the highest is no longer a presumption and becomes virtue, magnificence. 

Yes, it is in us, it is part of our soul. May we not live as if it was not there. 

Applied to Married Life: 

Maria: Why do you write today’s title in capital letters? 

Joseph: Because today I want to talk to them about Life “in capital letters”, what they can really live in their marriage, so that they do not aspire to anything less. What would you tell them from your experience as a Wife? 

María: Well, you already know that I am of few words. I rather listen, hear the Word of God and keep it in my Heart. 

I speak to you who listen to this message: Fall in love with the Love that God has for you, so that you end up in love with Him. When you discover the immense force of attraction that the Sacred Heart of Jesus experiences for you, you will be filled with joy. Your sorrows will end. I tell you this because I have Jesus here by my side, sitting next to me, and I see how he looks at you and how his heart burns for you. And I tell you: Blessed are you if you do what I tell you, because the Spirit of the Lord lives in you. 

And you, Joseph, what would you say to them? 

Joseph: Well, in imitation of Your delicacy, I will speak to them and say: To you who listen to me I tell you to be attentive so as not to interfere or stop the power of the Spirit in your soul. Forget your plans, your reasons, your desires… There is Someone in you called “Love of God” ardently wishing to lead you to become one with Us. Don’t you notice his strength? Be more attentive to Him and you will notice how He guides you. I’m telling you, I did it. 

Maria: Let’s hope, Joseph, that this time they listen to us and live the consequences of understanding our message. 

Joseph: This time yes, Maria, we ask the Father for them. 

Mother, 

Thank you for having received the Holy Spirit upon you and having opened the way for the indwelling of the Spirit of God in us. We welcome Him into our hearts today. Praise be Him, by us, for eternity.

 

Three Phases of the Path. Reflection for marriages. John 21:20-25

Gospel

It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and his testimony is true.

From the Gospel according to John. Jn 21:20-25

Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.”
So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?”

It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Three Phases of the Path

On the path towards God, I begin by obeying the commandments, which means doing good in a human sense. Next comes detachment from all creation: the material (“Sell everything you have and give it to the poor”) and the immaterial (“deny yourself”). Once these steps are taken, the path culminates in self-surrender: it is the moment of “Follow me.” At this point, we no longer look at others or their paths; we look at Jesus, only Jesus, until it is no longer I who live, but He who lives in me.

Applied to Marriaged Life:

Lola: I don’t understand. If by God’s grace I no longer commit mortal sins and I have renounced all my whims and earthly desires, why can’t I achieve full communion with you? 

Peter: We are missing one thing, Lola. We need to renounce our own criteria and even our honor. We continue to argue, convinced that we are right, and we keep demanding what we deserve as spouses… We remain stuck in ourselves. 

Lola: Of course, and as long as we want to be the protagonists, we don’t let the Lord be the protagonist. 

Peter: Exactly, Christ cannot live in us if we do not allow Him to do so because we are too confident in our own criteria. That is what we are missing.

Mother,

Here we are, still striving to follow Him without looking sideways. Thank you for helping us, Mother.

Now, follow me. Reflection for marriages. John 21:15-19

Gospel
Feed my lambs.Tend my sheep.
From the Gospel according to John. Jn 21:15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Now, follow me.

There was a moment when Peter told Jesus that he would follow Him wherever He went, and Jesus told him that he could not follow him yet, but he would be able to do so later. The time is now. Peter is truly ready to follow Him after the triple call to love His sheep, to love unto giving one´s life.

Applied to Married Life:

Sophie: Now I am know that my love to the Lord correlates with how much as I love you. Everything else is false affection.
Anthony: It is true that when we say we love the Lord but do not love our spouse we create a contradiction.
Sophie: Exactly. The Lord asks me to give myself to you, and still it´s really hard. Looking at those moments I avoid giving myself, I discover they are trivial things and I say to myself, “Because of this silly reason, I have not been able to give myself?”
Anthony: Sophie, I know that you love the Lord very much and you are very close to Him, and that will give you strength to overcome the disorders of your heart. Put your hope in Him and keep fighting. Alright?
Sofía: Alright. Thank you, Anthony, for encouraging me.

Mother,

I love the Lord and I love my husband, but I am unable to love him as much as I would like. Help me, Mother, to give myself fully.

Find the 3 pilars. Reflection for marriages. John 17:20-26

GOSPEL

May they become entirely one!

From the Gospel according to John. Jn 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: 

“I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Find the 3 pilars.

The priestly prayer of Jesus is like a kind of testament in which he transmits to the Father a summary of what he has done for us. He asks The Father that there be continuity and even progression in what he has given us until he reaches plenitude. In short, Jesus has given us the Word, the Name and the Glory. The Word that could represent God’s plan, the Name that refers to the intimacy of God and the Glory that basically is the divine Life. Way, Truth and Life. It is the legacy of Christ that leads us to become one with each other and with the Holy Trinity through Christ. Everything so we may be one.
Applied to Married life:
John: Not many people know how to explain how their Sacrament of marriage, helps them in their married life. I already know that Christ is among us, but what do you think if we make it tangible in our life?
Andrea: Well, I would summarize it in three words that define Jesus: Way, Truth and Life. The Way because He teaches us to be spouses. You look at Jesus as the Husband of the Church and if you base all your commitment in the way He gives Himself, you will be absolutely right.
John: Especially in His Passion, yes. I agree. Regarding the second, Truth, I would say that it means introducing ourselves together into His intimacy. His intimacy is the only truth because He “is” by Himself. He does not need any reference to resemble or compare with; nor to determine where it comes from. Only He explains Himself and the rest are creatures that come from Him. If you and I enter into His intimacy, and know who He is, all our affections will be properly put in order in our hearts and we will resemble Him. Furthermore As we enter into His intimacy, He makes us one with Him.
Andrea: Well, well… if I’m married to a theologist, how wonderful. And the third, Life, because He created us and gave us life, but then he saved us to give us eternal life. A supernatural life that goes far beyond the natural one. And in our marriage, we can participate in that life through the grace of our Sacrament. Without it, we could not become one with each other.
John: Hey, as a theologist, you don’t fall short either… In summary: The 3 pilars of our spiritual path: Formation, faith and life. Where would we go without our Sacrament?
Andrea: Nowhere.
Mother,

What a blessing that God wants to become one with us. What more can we ask for? Without Him, where will we go? Praise God.