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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Reflection 2020-07-16 Thursday 15th Week in Ordinary Time - Our Lady of Mt Carmel

 Isaiah 26:7-9, 12, 16-19; Psalm 102; Matthew 12:1-8
The Readings today show God comforting his people in their suffering. In the Gospel today, Jesus calls us: Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. This is an invitation to approach him. Jesus did not call those who are sinless or those who have no problems. He calls those who are weary, overwhelmed, sick, suffering to himself because he wants to give them rest. So if you are weary and carrying a heavy burden in your heart, come to Jesus.
But what does it mean to come to Jesus? The First Reading tells us we wait for you, your name and your renown are the soul’s desire. When we come to Jesus, he should be our only desire. Everyone is searching for something and most do not know they are searching for Jesus. Which is why Jesus calls everyone to himself because he knows he is the only One who can satisfy our cravings.
Coming to Jesus is to acknowledge we are searching for him. Then we admit our sins and admit the justice of God. Then we admit the futility of our works. We writhed, but we gave birth only to wind. We have won no victories on earth and no one is born to inhabit the world. We come to Jesus in our nothingness. We find peace only when we seek God. God wants us to have peace and this peace is received when we come to him. When we come to him, we do not seek answers with regards to what bothers us. When we come to him, we seek him, who alone comforts us and gives us peace. Answering our questions will not give peace. Only God can!
This is what our Lady knew when Jesus entered her life first, in the annunciation of the Angel Gabriel, through to the finding of Jesus in the Temple and lastly in his death at Calvary. Our Lady did not understand why these things have to happen. She probably did not understand what the events meant. But she kept her eyes fixed on God who gave her peace, in the midst of her suffering. Which is why Carmelites hold her in high esteem because she is a model of interior life of prayer and contemplation.
We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel today. In the 12th century, a group of Christians lived as hermits at Mt Carmel in imitation of Elijah. They grouped themselves around a chapel dedicated to our Lady. They officially established the Order of Carmel in the 13th century. Mary’s example in her life shows prayer is not just asking something from God. Prayer is seeking God, craving for God especially when things do not make sense. Contemplation is seeing the face of God or meeting God in our prayer. It is not physically seeing God, but it is encountering God, relating with God so one can know him. This is how we come to Jesus, through prayer and contemplation.
Prayer, to search for him, to crave for him. Contemplation, to see him, to encounter him, to know him, not only intellectually, but to know him as a Brother or Father.
If you are burdened, if you are tired of what is happening to you, if you are worried about your future, Come to Jesus. Search him and you will find him. Jesus calls us to come to him, he will reveal himself to those who come to him.
Lord, I seek you and crave for you. Reveal yourself to me and let me see you face to face. Our Lady of Mt Carmel, pray for us. Show us Jesus so we can know him.

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