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Dear brothers and sisters,
After we celebrated the Feast of the Sto. Nino in the Philippines, Jesus in our Gospel now comes out teaching “with authority, even the unclean spirits obey him” (Mk. 1: 21-28). Speaking in God’s name as the “new Moses” promised in the First Reading (Deut. 18:15-20), He commands obedience from us. The Psalm urges us: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Ps. 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9). St. Paul in the Second Reading insists “adherence to the Lord without distraction” (1 Cor. 7:32-35).
Continuing in the contemplation of the mystery of the Presentation of the Child Jesus, Our Lady describes Jesus as the Messiah. Grafted in His mission is Her maternal function of bringing Him to us (398 i). We will read “I Am Bringing You to Jesus” (Message 398), taken from the book “To the Priests Our Lady’s Beloved Sons.”
I. GOSPEL READING (Mark 1: 21-28)
Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.
Points for Reflection
1. The New Moses
In Capernaum, Jesus showed Himself both as a teacher in authority and as conqueror in control. The long promised “new Moses” (Deut. 18:15-20) finally came to bring us into God’s reign. In him, God speaks and conquers.
As teacher, he easily made an impact - “having authority and not as the scribes” - because He is the living Word of God, plain and simple. He is the One whom Moses foretold: “A prophet like me will the Lord raise up for you from among your kin; to him you shall listen” (Deut. 18:15-20). This was a treasured promise throughout Israel’s history, right up to His appearance. The people in Capernaum heard in Him that wonderful authority that had once belonged only to Moses.
What they likely did not know was that a new exodus was about to begin as well. Jesus hinted at this in His encounter with the unclean spirit on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a sign of perfection in God’s creation (Ex. 20:8-11; 31:12-17) and Israel’s exodus to liberation (Deut. 6:12-15). Confronting the unclean spirit on this Sabbath and commanding obedience from him, Jesus signals a new creation and a new exodus. He is “the Holy One of God” - the conqueror - to purify creation from sin and deliver the world from evil.
2. “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
Jesus deserves our undivided attention. Our Psalm urges us: “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Ps. 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9). It would be foolish to be indifferent to it lest we cringe in fear like the “unclean spirit.” Instead, “let us bow down and worship.” In the Second reading, St. Paul insists on “adherence to the Lord without distraction” (1 Cor. 7:32-35). Whatever preoccupies us - “married” or “unmarried” - should not distract us from looking up to God. Whatever happens – pleasant or unpleasant - we must be focused on Him, and not be distracted by emotions. In the Eucharist, the Church invites us to set this focus. We hear His voice and see His works. His words and deeds set our hearts on fire. Let us listen to and obey Him.
In our country, we celebrate the National Bible Sunday, reminding us of the importance of God’s written Word. Let us know them well, live their message in daily life and share their richness with others. Jesus, our focus, is the Living Word of God.
II. OUR LADY’S MESSAGE: “I AM BRINGING YOU TO JESUS” (MESSAGE 398)
Beloved sons, live with joy the mystery of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, and with docility let yourselves also be carried in my motherly arms.
Forty days after his birth, in fulfillment of the prescriptions of the Law, together with my most chaste spouse, Joseph, I go up to the temple both to offer to the Lord my first-born Son and to carry out the sacrifice prescribed for his ransom. With what love I clasp the Child Jesus in my motherly arms! And with what docility and filial abandonment the little Babe allows Himself to be carried by me, as I press Him with boundless tenderness to my Heart.
And carried, presented and offered by the Mother, Jesus enters into the glory of his temple.
Jesus enters into the temple of Jerusalem, because for Him, the Messiah, Lord and Redeemer, it was built and sanctified.
Jesus comes, in the splendor of his glory, and takes possession of his divine dwelling place.
Jesus is manifested in the splendor of his light for revelation to all the gentiles.
Jesus is announced in advance as a sign of contradiction, for the salvation and ruin of many in Israel.
Jesus is received into the arms of old Simeon as the Messiah awaited for centuries and as Savior of his people.
And within the mystery of his mission, there is intimately engrafted the unfolding of my motherly function: ‘As for you, O Mother, a sword shall pierce your soul’ (Lk. 2:35). Because my duty as Mother is that of bringing Jesus to you and of bringing you all to Jesus. I am the way along which you must travel if you want to reach your Lord and Savior.
I am bringing you to Jesus.
I am bringing you to Jesus, your Truth. This is why in these times, when many are leaving the faith to follow errors, I am intervening with my numerous and extraordinary manifestations, in order to lead you all to the full truth of the Gospel. You must be only the lived-out Gospel so that you too may be able to give the light of the truth.
I am bringing you to Jesus, your Life. This is why today, when many are falling into the darkness of sin and of death, I am helping you through my strong presence in your midst, to live in the grace of God, so that you also can share in the very life of the Lord Jesus.
In these dark times of the great tribulation, if you do not allow yourselves to be carried in my arms, with filial abandonment and with great docility, it is difficult for you to succeed in escaping the subtle snares which my Adversary sets for you. His seductions have become so dangerous and subtle that hardly anyone any longer succeeds in escaping them. You are running the great danger of falling into the seduction, which my Adversary is setting for you in order to draw you away from Jesus and from me.
All can fall into his trap. Priests and even bishops can fall into it. The faithful and even those consecrated can fall into it. The simple and even the learned can fall into it. The disciples and even the masters can fall into it.
Those will never fall into it who - as little children - consecrate themselves to my Immaculate Heart and allow themselves to be carried in my motherly arms. As of now, it will become ever clearer and clearer to the Church and to the world that the little flock which, in these years of the great apostasy, will remain faithful to Jesus and to his Gospel, will be entirely protected in the motherly enclosure of my Immaculate Heart.
I am bringing you to Jesus, your Way. You are thus led by Him to your Heavenly Father. Jesus is the perfect Image of the Father; He is his only-begotten Son; He is the Word consubstantial with Him; He is the reflection of his beauty; He is the revelation of his love.
Jesus and the Father are one single being. From the Father, through the Son, there is given to you as gift the Spirit of Love, in order that you too may be able to penetrate into the stupendous mystery of this divine Unity.
If Jesus becomes your way, you come into the arms of his, and your, Heavenly Father. If you walk with Jesus, you carry out the divine Will in your life, with that love and that docility with which Jesus has always done the Will of the Father. And thus you live with the confidence and the abandonment of little children who expect and receive everything as a gift of love from their Father who is in heaven.
And then I, your heavenly Mother, am able to carry you each day, upon the altar of my Immaculate Heart, to the temple of the glory and the light of the Lord. Thus I am able to offer you, in life, to the perfect glorification of the Most Holy Trinity, and by means of you, I am able to spread everywhere the light of its divine splendor.
When this light will have illumined and transformed the whole world, Jesus will come to you in glory to restore his kingdom.
Points for Reflection
Jesus, the Messiah, Lord and Redeemer.
Jesus, the Messiah, Lord and Redeemer, enters into the glory of His temple, built and sanctified as His divine dwelling place. Here, He is manifested in the splendor of his light for revelation to all the gentiles, and announced in advance as a sign of contradiction for the salvation and ruin of many in Israel. Simeon, who waited for His coming, received Him in his arms (398 c-h).
Mary’s Maternal Function
In the temple, Mary’s maternal function is revealed, grafted intimately from the mission of Her Son: ‘As for you, O Mother, a sword shall pierce your soul’ (Lk. 2:35). As Mother, Her duty is that of bringing Jesus to us and of bringing us all to Jesus. “I am the way along which you must travel if you want to reach your Lord and Savior” (398 i).
I am bringing you to Jesus.
- Jesus, Your Truth: In this time when many are losing the faith because of errors and deceptions, Our Lady is intervening to lead us to the full truth of the Gospel. She wants us to live this out in order to give the light of the truth (398 k).
- Jesus, Your Life: In our time, when Satan’s trap to draw us away from God is difficult to overcome, Our Lady helps us live in the state of grace so that we can share in the very life of Jesus. As all can fall into his trap, the ones who will never fall are those who consecrate themselves to Her Immaculate Heart (398 l-o).
- Jesus, Your Way: Jesus is our way to the Father. Through Him, we come into the arms of our heavenly Father. With Him, we carry out the divine Will in our life, in utter abandonment, confident to receive everything as a gift of love from our Father (398 p-r).
All these happen through our consecration. In the altar of Her Immaculate Heart, Our Mother carries us each day to the temple of the glory and the light of Jesus. “Thus I am able to offer you, in life, to the perfect glorification of the Most Holy Trinity, and by means of you, I am able to spread everywhere the light of its divine splendor.” When this light will have illumined and transformed the whole world, Jesus will come in glory to restore his kingdom (398 s-t).
Yours in the Immaculate Heart,
This reflection is shared with all cenacle and other prayer groups (priests and laity), communities and Marian organizations, associations and movements within and outside of the Philippines, with Our Lady’s words transcribed verbatim for those who do not have copies of the messages. This may also be shared with private individuals for their personal use. Our Lady's messages are taken from the book: ”To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons,” a compilation of 604 messages in the form of locutions given by the Blessed Virgin Mary through Fr. Stefano Gobbi of Italy.
Imprimatur: Bp Donald W. Montrose, D.D., 1998; Abp Francesco Cuccarese, 2007