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April 11, 2021

So, the Lord tells me what to do with my time, and today I was going to start with music. And show you how effective the mass readings are from the missal. The Sunday missal. What did I open to but 'Feed My sheep. Tend to My sheep. Feed My lambs.' That was the mass readings. I had a little bit of a thought that maybe today would not be about music.

And Carol has wanted me to finish the series on Mary, the Mother of the Church. And I was keen to do that, too. So, here we are.

Dear Family, we have looked at the Scriptural basis for Our Lady's many roles, and her entire life has become a model of holiness for us. She, in fact, was the very first believer. And even more than that, an Apostle. One who is sent, to come into the world and prepare a place in her womb for the Messiah, whom God sent forth from her womb.

All throughout her life, events happened that parallel the events of our own lives, the many trials we have in following and sharing Jesus with the world. She was first to believe. To prophecy His role to the nations. To announce to men. To comfort and nurture Him, even as we Brides are called to do. To understand the greatness of His role to mankind.

For when she served at the Temple, she learned all the Scriptures about the Messiah and eagerly awaited His coming. Her trip to her cousin Elizabeth was not just out of curiosity. She wanted to be present when this great prodigy was born. For a woman sterile for 50 years had suddenly been blessed with a child, the harbinger of the Messiah whom she carried in her womb.

She knew she would be suspected of adultery and possibly stoned. But she put her trust in God, knowing that nothing could happen to her or the Messiah in her womb. She bore the insults and calumny hurled at her when she returned to Nazareth, and even at the foot of the Cross when the soldiers mocked her for being a poor mother. She witnessed the miracles scattered all through His young life.

Anne Catherine Emmerick, who worked with archeologists to discover critical sites and treasures, told the story of how when they were passing through the mountains on the way to Egypt, a band of robbers who lived in a local cave suddenly surrounded them. They were awestruck by the presence that surrounded the Holy Family, so they did no harm, but invited them to the shelter of their cave to spend the night.

It is said that the Blessed Mother bathed baby Jesus and gave the water from his bath to the mother of a child that was leprous, living in the cave. When she bathed her child in the water, the leprosy completely disappeared. Later, at the foot of the Cross, that same baby who had grown into a man, was being crucified beside Jesus. And he was the good thief, to whom Jesus said, "Truly I tell you. Today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

The life of Jesus was studded with these kinds of miracles that were never recorded, but in Heaven there will be a playback--and I can't wait!!!

But seriously, dear family. Even as it is written, "There are many more things that Jesus did. If all of them were written down, I suppose that not even the world itself would have space for the books that would be written." John 21:25

Yet, I believe there is no need for all those things to be written. The need is for salvation and faithfulness to our Lord. Personal holiness. And for that, what is written is more than enough. There is also the danger of curiosity getting the best of us and reading 'epistles' that supposedly came from the Apostles. None of this is important, dear ones. We have what we need. And we have Jesus and His Holy Spirit to guide us. And Father God to worship. What more could we want?

The night before He suffered, He washed the Apostle's feet as a lesson to them that they, too, must go and do likewise; washing the feet of others. He continually used metaphors and examples to illustrate a truth. When He spoke to John from the Cross, I believe that His words had a deeper meaning than what they appeared to be on the surface.

"When Jesus saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, 'Woman, here is your son.' Then He said to the disciple, 'Here is your mother.' So from that hour, this disciple took her into his home...." John 19:26-27.

The Lord was again pointing to the role Mary would have when He departed. She instructed Luke and gave him accounts of things that none of the other apostles knew. She was present in the upper room. Her discernment was like none other, because she had lived her entire life with the Son of God. She was given the grace of baptism at conception, so Jesus could inhabit a thoroughly cleansed vessel.

And now she is being appointed the gentle mother of His Church, whom apostles sought out for deeper understanding and insight. And John, who was very special to Jesus, was placed in the unique position of caring for her needs. So many miss the scope of significance that Jesus portrays in the Scriptures by simple parables. This, and the wedding at Cana, are again examples of Jesus making clear to us His mother's role in the Church.

Dear ones, Mary was the very first disciple. And as such, she embodies all the attributes of all believers for all times. She stands as the preeminent example of what a believer can expect from life. And here, in her death, is the perfect ending.

One site in Ephesus has been venerated as the house Mary lived in for over 11 years after her Son's resurrection. It is ancient tradition that John the Beloved disciple built this house for Mary and that it was the place of her dormition and ascension into Heaven.

This is partially attested to by an Augustinian nun, Anne Catherine Emmerick, who was used for archeological digs and had a remarkably accurate gift of locating sacred locations. She is the one who was shown where Mary's house was and described many of the details, down to the shape and size of the rooms, as well as the location of high up high windows. And the size and shape of bricks. Soon afterwards it was located, and the local people attested to the fact that it indeed was her house, and they came on pilgrimage every year.

Isn't it interesting? The mountain where Noah's ark was found was called Doomsday Mountain and known to be connected to Noah and the flood long before anyone found the boat.

And here is Mary's house, being respected and venerated by the people in the area. And the same here. Simple folk carried on the tradition that this was the place where Mary fell asleep in the Lord, called the dormition. And then was assumed up into Heaven after her death.

Now, there are some people who say that she went into dormition in Jerusalem. That is and interesting take on it. But the Church has a lot of archeological evidence, and they have transferred the blessing of the place of her departure from Jerusalem to Ephesus, to this house.

And she was given an option, it is written by the Church Fathers, of not having to die, by her own Son. But she chose to experience death, even as He did.

Dear Family, of this we can be sure. Some day we will rise out of our graves and be assumed into Heaven just as she was. How perfect is this witness, from birth to death! Our Lady was given extraordinary prerogatives to demonstrate to all Christians the gifts we would yet experience for our faithfulness.

She was immaculately conceived, pre-figuring the baptism of John to wash away the sin nature embedded in the blood, from Adam onward. And raised from the dead prefiguring the Rapture. How beautifully she lived this exemplary life of the ideal Christian and the rewards bestowed upon them. Even to the point that in Heaven she is graced with the highest rank below the Godhead, for her faithfulness on Earth. And by some, she is called the Second Eve. As a reward, she's been given untold numbers of angels to execute the will of the Father and aid us in our journey home.

Dear Lord, thank you so much for this marvelous illustration, from birth to death, of what the Christian life should be and the rewards that come with it.

Jesus began, "My Dove, you have connected the dots and found the great treasure hidden from the arrogant and learned. This poor, third-world village girl has proven to all that there is no other requirement for holiness than obedience to their state in life. She was a queen when sent to Earth, but under the guise of a little nobody.

"Yet the priests recognized in her a soul predestined by God to some very important mission. It was not her brilliance that earned her this recognition, but her extreme littleness and fidelity to her duties in the Temple and the home. She was nothing to look at, Clare, unless your spiritual eyes were open. And then her beauty was stunningly evident.

"What I gave to Carol was correct; her connection to the Father was never broken from birth onwards. And neither was Mine. Because of her immaculate conception, she didn't fight the same temptations that easily ensnare an unbaptized soul. But do not suppose for one moment that she was not tried in virtue. "Her life was a continual offering, dying to herself. Though her desires did not deviate from Mine, the evil ones tempted her mercilessly. Yet her unbroken communion with the Father upheld her in all trials. She knew her life was a mission to Earth for all generations and all peoples. And it meant everything to her, to the point that personal preference did not play a role in her day-to-day life. It was always what the Father intended for her that she would set about to do, with all her heart.

"Now she is your example, My people. And you can surmise from her example that in Heaven you will be given a greater mission to fulfill on Earth, if you are faithful with what I have assigned to you now. I want you to venerate her. I want you to imitate her. I want you to live as though your spirit is eternally connected to the Father's, because indeed it is. It provides for your endless supply of grace for each and every moment of the day.

"And so, My dear ones who for the first time are encountering My true mother. I wish for you to put away all the foolish lies fed to various men to become doctrine in churches that are not My very own. Put away these lies and welcome her into your home. For truly, she is your mother as well, and she will guide and counsel you in the ways of holiness if you listen very closely for her voice."

I have experienced her voice many times. It's so gentle and tender. But there's a book called The Imitation of Christ put out by Catholic Book Publishing. By Alexander deRouville. There are two books, The Imitation of Mary. But there's only one that really reflects her counsel. I highly recommend you get it. I use it for a rhema almost every day.

"Just as in the days of My birth, she has been sent to bring you closer to Me. Because this truly is a familial relationship, and she truly is the Mother of the Bride.

"My dear ones, I stooped to enter the womb of this precious one, chosen by the Father. You should have no shame in stooping to pass through her doorway to come to Me. In this way you will demonstrate My humility in coming to you."

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