Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This morning, as I pondered the beautiful apparition of Mary our Mother as she appeared to the humble young peasant, St. Bernadette, I thought how significant it is to have this memorial an the day before:
… Pope Francis’ much-anticipated post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the Amazon Synod during a press conference on Feb. 12, the Holy See announced…
The document will be titled Querida Amazonia (“Dear Amazonia”) and will embody the pope’s reflections on the insights and recommendations that came out of the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazonian Region, which was held in Rome last October. (HERE for more on synod)
When little Bernadette asked Mary who she was, Mary replied: “I am the Immaculate Conception”, words the young girl memorized and faithfully repeated without thoroughly understanding what they meant. God chooses the weak to confound the strong. It seems to me those who continue faithful to Jesus through Mary need to pray always for God’s Will as Mary shows us in her words to the servants at Cana recorded by the Beloved Disciple John in his Gospel: “Do whatever He tells you”.
In reading about the apparitions I was struck especially by these two:
The 8th appearance (24 February)
The lady speaks with Bernadette entrusting her with a message, asking prayers for penitence, over 200-300 people were present. The lady said Pray to God for sinners. Kiss the earth as a sign of penitence for sinners!" The lady also told Bernadette to eat the grass growing below the grotto. From that moment every time Bernadette visited grotto she repeated the same act.
The 9th appearance (25 February)
300 people present at the grotto despite the weather being cold. The Lady told Bernadette that she should go and drink at the grotto and wash her self there. Seeing no water Bernadette was confused and therefore went to drink at the Gave. The lady called her back and pointed at a spot just below the grotto to the left. Bernadette started digging with her hands and eating the herbs, she then uncovered a puddle of muddy water. Bernadette obeyed the Lady and carried on scratching the ground until she was able to drink some of the water, after the fourth time of disregarding the muddy water.
When the apparition finished Bernadette said later “I do not know why the lady disappeared” and she went home. Bernadette was interrogated again.
The spring began to flow a day later. – for more about the apparitions see HERE
Besides continuing to pray for the Church, especially the Rosary daily, it seems to me we need to offer penance. praying especially for sinners including ourselves. Let us pray with Mary today, asking the Holy Spirit to give the Pope an increase in the Gift of Wisdom. Let us continue to keep the eyes and ears of our hearts fixed on Jesus as Mary did on Calvary.
Holy Spirit fill the hearts of Your Faithful. Jesus, we trust in You! Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.