Fear of the Lord

Today in our second day of the Novena of the Holy Spirit, we ask for the gift of fear of the Lord.  Unlike the human worries we experience in situations which threaten earthly freedoms, emotional and physical well-being, and our desires, fear of the Lord achieves everlasting life. It is meant to help us to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart with all your soul, and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22: 37-38).

These two commandments resonate today on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, Mary and Elizabeth received the gift of the fear of the Lord. After initially being troubled, Mary replaces her anxiety with obedience to God: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38) and when Elizabeth humbled herself in the presence of to the Lord “how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43).

The Feast of the Visitation also remind us of the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself’ when Mary rushed to be with her cousin and Elizabeth recognized Mary as the Mother of God.

Both Mary and Elizabeth are exemplary models of the grace of gift of fear of the Lord. Let’s pray to the Holy Spirit to be overshadowed by the same grace today and forever.

Have a blessed day!!!

Pope Francis

Yesterday, Pope Francis 20130313_pope_blog_main_horizontalwas voted the next successor to St. Peter. This marks a new chapter in the Catholic Church; one for which I am very excited.

Much discussion since yesterday has centered on his age. Pope Francis is certainly no spring chicken. Age, however, doesn’t make a person; it is the person’s character, resolve, and the Grace of God bestowed upon the person that counts.

Throughout the history of the bible, one can encounter countless men and women advanced in age who have made enormous contributions to our faith. Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah 90, when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:5). In today’s scriptures, we read about Moses. He was 80 years old when he led God’s people from Egypt (Exodus 7:7) and received the 10 Commandments. Zechariah and Elizabeth were both advanced in age (Luke 1:7) when the Angel Gabriel announced that they would be having a child, John the Baptist.

God has always worked in mysterious ways. I believe that the choosing of Pope Francis is God’s work. Moreover, I believe that like Abraham and Moses, Pope Francis has prepared all his life to serve God in this role. How long would it be? It doesn’t matter to me. I have faith that however long it is, it will be what God intended it to be.

When God presents us with an opportunity, it is not how old or young we are that counts; it is what we do with it. Jesus’ ministry was only 3 years. Think about how our lives were transformed by it.

Let’s pray that Pope Francis brings about God’s will.