One Minute Reflection – 21 January – Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 1 Samuel 15:16-23, Psalm 50:8-9, 16-17, 21, 23, Mark 2:18-22 and the Memorial of St Eustochia Smeraldo Calafato OSC (1434-1485)
“The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day.” … Mark 2:20
REFLECTION – “Of fundamental importance are the words of the Letter to the Ephesians: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish… ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’. This mystery is a profound one and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church” (5:25-32; Gn 2:24)…
We find ourselves at the very heart of the Paschal Mystery, which completely reveals the spousal love of God. Christ is the Bridegroom because “he has given himself” – His body has been “given”, His blood has been “poured out” (cf. Lk 22:19-20). In this way “he loved them to the end” (Jn 13:1). The “sincere gift” contained in the Sacrifice of the Cross gives definitive prominence to the spousal meaning of God’s love. As the Redeemer of the world, Christ is the Bridegroom of the Church. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of our Redemption. It is the Sacrament of the Bridegroom and of the Bride. The Eucharist makes present and realises anew, in a sacramental manner, the redemptive act of Christ, who “creates” the Church, His body. Christ is united with this “body” as the bridegroom with the bride. All this is contained in the Letter to the Ephesians. The perennial “unity of the two” that exists between man and woman from the very “beginning” is introduced into this “great mystery” of Christ and of the Church.” … St John Paul II – Pope from 1978 to 2005 – Apostolic Letter “ Mulieris dignitatum ” #23, 26
PRAYER – Almighty God, ruler and creator of all things in heaven and on earth, listen favourably to the prayer of Your people. Through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave us His life to lead us to You and made us His own body in His Church, grant us the grace of always listening for His word and following His deeds in all that we are and all that we do. May we too follow His teachings in our Holy Mother Church, for she is His and we are hers. May the prayers of St Eustochia Calafato, intercede for us. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.