Day 7 - Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth
Day 7 Novena Reflection
"Behold your mother; behold your son".
In His final act of Self-giving Love, revealed for all eternity on Golgotha's Hill, Jesus spoke those words and expanded the importance of the expression mother and brothers. We read about this encounter in the Gospel of St. John.
Picture the poignant scene, right before He was to breathe His last breath:
"Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son. "Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home." (John 19:26-27).
From antiquity, the Fathers of the Church taught that this encounter was also about more than the relationship between the Apostle John (whom sacred scripture calls "the beloved disciple") and Mary the mother of the Lord.
It was -and is- about the expanded family of the Church, the community that Jesus came to found - and of which He is the Head and we are the members.
As a final gift, right before He died, He gave His mother to His whole family, through giving her to the beloved disciple John. This was a gift for all of us, an exchange, an expansion of His family.
In this exchange, the Christian tradition has long taught, He also entrusted all of us to her maternal care.
Jesus was not minimizing His relationship with His mother through these words given in response to the crowd, He was expanding it.
Jesus hungers, through Divine love, to include all of us in the family circle of God. In doing so, He invites us on the journey home to the Father's house in Him, through Him, and with Him, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In this exchange, Jesus opens for those with eyes to see and ears to hear the deeper interior importance and meaning of the motherhood of Mary and the interior meaning of all family relationships renewed by the Holy Spirit.
He gives to those with ears to hear and eyes to see, a key insight - family relationships touch upon, model and make present an eternal mystery into which each of us who are baptized are invited!
The Church truly is a family, God's family. Understanding this insight, and living it, is a key to the spiritual life. The Christian vocation and mission is fundamentally about relationship and communion.
All who are incorporated into the Body of Jesus Christ through Baptism begin even now to experience the intimacy, (expressed in family relationships), that is the essence of the very life of the Trinity.
Through His life, death and Resurrection (the "Paschal mystery"), He opens a way for every man, woman and child, who chooses to do the will of His Father, to enter into the family circle of God through living our lives in Him.
The Father of Jesus becomes our Father also, as we enter, through Him, into the inner life of the Trinity. He underscores this truth right before He ascended when He instructed Mary of Magdala to tell the disciples "I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' (John 20:17).
Understanding this mystery requires prayer and revelation. Our eyes must be opened to its fullness and our hearts must be changed by the encounter. That requires living faith. We are members of the very Family of God.
Saints of God, Pray for us
Novena Prayer to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth
Beloved Father, through the life, death and resurrection of your only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, we have become your adopted sons and daughters.
Through Baptism we are now members of His Body, the Church, which is Your family.
Our Savior Jesus taught us that whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother. We thank you that promise includes each one of us.
As members of the family of Jesus we are now reunited to you, in Him. Through Baptism we have become adopted sons and daughters in your Beloved Son.
We now turn to you in prayer, through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit as OUR FATHER, ABBA.
We pray that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, you would raise up in our midst holy men, women and children, in every Nation, culture and walk of life.
Men, women and children who are so conformed to your Son Jesus that they make Him known by their words, deeds and life of love and sacrificial service.
Men, women and children who are saints for this urgent hour.
Men, Women and children who manifest the power of heaven on earth. Who continue the ministry of Jesus, your Son and our Savior, through signs of the kingdom to come.
May these holy men and women multiply - providing leaders and servants for a New Missionary Age of the Church.
And, we pray for ourselves and our families, that we could grow closer and closer to you, every day, that we would be transformed by your grace and our free cooperation with your grace - Empowered by your Holy Spirit to become new creations in Jesus Christ.
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