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Hunger with a Capital H. Reflection for marriages Mark 14:12-16,22-26


This is my body; this is my blood
From the Gospel according to Mark 
Mk 14:12-16,22-26

On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to Jesus, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him, and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?” He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there.’ The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.
  And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many. I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’
  After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.

The Gospel of the Lord
Hunger with a Capital H
Do you experience hunger? Christ chooses a basic food like bread to come to us so that everyone can understand: Are you hungry? Eat bread and it will give you life. Is your spirit hungry? Eat the Bread of Eternal Life.
But it all starts with hunger: Do I have a Hunger for the Lord?
How important it is to have a Hunger for the Lord, a hunger we capitalise for its significance and its reference to Christ. Ask for the Hunger, cultivate the Hunger, savour the Hunger.
When we read about the Hunger that the Saints had, it becomes contagious. With that intense Hunger, I come to see you, Lord, to be with you and to receive Holy Communion, so that I may be in You and You in me.
Applied to Married Life:
George: One reads about the lives of the saints, and they are so different from each other… One doesn’t know whom to imitate.
Dawn: I believe, my dear, that we don’t have to imitate their path, because we have our own. Now we are courting, and if God wills, He will unite us in Holy Matrimony. But one common factor among the Saints is their Hunger for God. I think that is the key we should imitate.
George: You are right, darling, we need to be more with Him, to fall madly in love with Him, to feed on Him, and to let Him govern our lives.
Dawn: How important it is to have a Hunger for Him. I want that, do you?
George: I do too. Shall we ask for it daily from now on?
Dawn: Yes, let’s ask Mary. No one better than Her to give us a Hunger for the Lord.
Give us Hunger with a capital H and give it to our children. Much, more, even more. Thank you, Mother.

The Rest is His. Reflection for marriages Mark 11:27-3


I will not tell you my authority for acting like this
From the Gospel according to Mark
Mk 11:27-33
Jesus and his disciples came to Jerusalem, and as Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, ‘What authority have you for acting like this? Or who gave you authority to do these things?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you a question, only one; answer me and I will tell you my authority for acting like this. John’s baptism: did it come from heaven, or from man? Answer me that.’ And they argued it out this way among themselves: ‘If we say from heaven, he will say, “Then why did you refuse to believe him?” But dare we say from man?’ – they had the people to fear, for everyone held that John was a real prophet. So their reply to Jesus was, ‘We do not know.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this.’
The Gospel of the Lord

The Rest is His.

It is clear that we cannot comprehend the things of God. It is indeed wonderful that we do not know everything, and that despite not understanding many things, we still follow Him. Mary delighted in not understanding many things, which she kept in Her Heart, because this way she knew they were from God. If we understood everything, they couldn’t be from God, who is beyond the grasp of our small human minds. Because there is mystery, there is faith, and “blessed are those who believe without seeing.”

Applied to Married Life:
Claire: I don’t understand why, after all that I am giving of myself, this trial has come my way. I don’t understand why it has to come through you. If it were someone else causing me pain, it would be one thing, but that it is you—I just don’t understand. Do you know what I mean? 
Peter: I’m sorry, Claire, please forgive me. I know I am a sinner and still have much to purify in my heart. I was caught off guard and reacted poorly, saying things I shouldn’t have said, and that I don’t even mean. I do the wrong I don’t want to do and not the good I want to do. 
Claire: Yes… And who understands that God became man, took on your sins and mine, and gave Himself up, and is there before us, enclosed in a monstrance? Now I understand that I don’t understand. This is something from God, set before me so that I may learn to be merciful like Him. Thank you, Lord, continue to place me in these situations as often as You wish. Next time, I ask that You help me live through them in You. Forgive me, Peter. I understand your fragility. I know you want to love me more than you do, and that is more than enough for me. Peter: Praise be to God.

We are too small to know everything. Grant us the gift of understanding, just enough to be faithful to God’s will. The rest is His. Praise be to the Lord.

Spiritual Milk. Reflection for marriages Mark 10, 46-52

“Master, I want to see.”
Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark 10, 46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,
Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,
sat by the roadside begging.
On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,
he began to cry out and say,
“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent.
But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.”
Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him,
“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”
He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.”
Immediately he received his sight
and followed him on the way.
Word of the Lord.
Spiritual Milk
As the first reading in Peter’s letter states: “…desire the pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”
I see myself nursing from the Mother Church and from the prayer in which Mary leads me to Jesus, that spiritual milk that reveals to me the love that God has for me and for my wife, and for loved ones and not-so-loved ones…
I see myself nursing from the consecrated Host and extracting the sweet juice of divine Mercy. The nectar of grace, savoring the truth, amazed by the supernatural beauty of my spouse…
Give me more, Lord, Son of David, as I am still hungry for You and thirsty for Love.
Applied to Married Life:
Claudia: Husband, what do you keep in your memory of our relationship? I have some dark moments that occasionally surface and cause me pain.
Salva: I do too. But I am learning to purify my memory so that everything within my heart carries a touch of God’s grace and is enveloped in Love. This way everything becomes part of our salvation history.
Claudia: That sounds good, but I don’t quite understand it. Can you give me an example?
Salva: Well, sometimes I would remember that person you were flirting with. The pain that came over me was indescribable. It provoked a tremendous anger against you and even more against him.
Claudia: I know. I don’t know how I could do something so terrible to you, but I also didn’t know how to recover and fight against that ghost of the past for which I have asked for forgiveness a thousand times.
Salva: So, I’ve decided to rejoice in having suffered the pain that I inflict on Him and so many others every time I disregard His sacrifice for me by focusing on worldly things.
This experience has helped me to unite with Him in sacrifice for your redemption, and has borne much fruit in my heart. Now, when that memory comes to me, it is wrapped in desires to suffer for your salvation, dear wife, and in reparation for the wounded Heart of Christ.
Purify our memory so that we only keep in our hearts what You stored in Yours. Mother, may I see with Your eyes. Amen.

Misunderstood but faithful. Reflection for marriages Mark 10:32-45


Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. Reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint Mark 10:32-45
The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus went ahead of them.
They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.
Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them
what was going to happen to him.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death
and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him,
spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death,
but after three days he will rise.”
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
came to Jesus and said to him,
“Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, “What do you wish me to do for you?”
They answered him,
“Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
They said to him, “We can.”
Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Misunderstood but faithful.
This is how the quintessential Spouse acts, giving His life as a ransom for many. It was clear that Jesus was not being understood by His disciples, as He spoke of being ridiculed and killed while His friends were concerned with securing the best positions. They were self-centered and driven by the typical inner tyranny of worldly leaders. But Jesus was not disturbed by this, nor did their response change His determination to give Himself for them and many more, in faithfulness to the Father’s will and out of love for them. May the misunderstandings of our spouse not separate us from our vocation to total self-giving like His.
Applied to Married Life:
Inés: I don’t feel understood by my husband at all, and that makes me protect myself from him.
Paco: No Inés, that is not the way. On one hand, precisely to know and understand yourself, you need to surrender to your husband. And secondly, precisely for your husband to know you and purify his gaze towards you, the best thing you can do is to surrender to him.
Inés: It’s a big sacrifice of my emotions, but I understand it. I understand that in my surrender despite the circumstances, true love is found. Thank you for helping me to love in the name of the Lord.
Nothing and no one stopped you from giving yourself completely and with all its consequences. We also offer our surrender. Thank you, Mother.

Little but everything. Reflection for marriages Mark 10, 28-31

You will receive in this time a hundred times more, with persecutions, and in the age to come, eternal life.
Reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint Mark 10, 28-31
Peter began to say to Jesus,
“We have given up everything and followed you.”
Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Little but everything.
Yes, 100 times more. There is no equal return in the world, but the only condition is to leave everything. And what is most difficult is to leave one’s own honor: to ask for forgiveness for what I have not done, to agree with joy and conviction even if I do not believe the other is right…
Mother, today I come before Your Son, with a full heart, because I have been surrendering my honor for some time now thanks to the Love of His Sacred Heart that you have transmitted to me and that moves me. But do not give me more of this that I receive now because I will explode, and besides, I do not deserve it. I want to continue surrendering my honor but without consolations, and in secret. Only for you. Dispose as you wish of this tiny gesture of love that I make to you and to Him.
Applied to Married Life:
Alberto: Thank you, Mother, because today the Supreme Master has allowed a misunderstanding between my wife and me, and her comments hurt me. Thank you for allowing this poor sinner to adhere to God’s Love for her. I offer this sacrifice for Your free disposal, although I ask that if possible, it may contribute to the salvation of my wife, and if any punishment is due, let it fall on me.
Marta: Thank you, Mother, for the public humiliation that the Supreme Master has allowed me to receive publicly through my husband, which has filled me with so much joy. I offer it to you in case this small contribution might be useful for the greater glory of God, and if You will, especially for the salvation of my husband.
(And the glory of God was filling their hearts a hundred times more)
I am all Yours, Mary. Help me to give you all my smallness. Little but everything. Thank you, Mother.