Do we need any other proclamation. The pope has already proclaimed her as Mediatrix.
Friday, January 15 is the feast (in the Extraordinary Form) of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. This reminded me of my favorite Picture of Mary which goes by the name of Madonna del Socorro. The Gospel of the feast is John 2:1-11, the wedding feast at Cana. So I must preach on this gospel twice this week for it is the Gospel for this coming Sunday, the Second Sunday after Epiphany (in the extraordinary form.) The image of the Madonna del Socorro, painted in the late 15th Century, is at right.
And the mother of Jesus was there.
Did you ever wonder why she was mentioned before Jesus and his disciples? Maybe the evangelist wants us to pay attention to the Mother of Jesus because she has a certain significance in the Gospel and to all of us.
They have no wine,
She was not in charge, nor was she responsible. The Father of the bride hadn’t noticed; the head waiter had not noticed. Mary was the one who took the initiative and spoke to someone who could do something. It is not like she had access to Costco or the like.
Do whatever he tells you.
This is how you put the gospel into five words. In any difficulty all you need do is listen to these words. To do this shows ultimate confidence in Jesus.
Six stone water jars
Six is the number for man. Six is the number fore weakness. Six is the number for sin. YOU will never have enough. Do not pay attention to what you can do. Think of what you can do with God's help. Logically speaking, that is not going to help the situation at all. And physically speaking, that's a lot of work. Only Mary's confidence in Jesus, overflowing into their own hearts and minds, gave them the faith they needed to obey. And as a result, only the servants knew where the New Wine had come from.
This is a picture of Good Friday from 2018. Fr. Fessio is to my right, serving as the Deacon in the Extraordinary Form
...is the feast of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, as well as the solemnity of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. St. Gaspar will be a commemoration at the Mass I celebrate today. When reading of the times he lived in, it sounds like the times today.
St. Gaspar is a saint that should be remembered today. The focus of his missionary activity was conversion, reconciliation and awakening from sleep. The social and political forces of Gaspar’s time had left towns and villages in great disarray and upheaval. There were deep divisions, and life was marked by bloodshed and violence. Gaspar’s crew of missionaries was armed with only the Word of God, but their presence was enough to awaken in the townspeople a longing for the peace and healing God desired. This is the time when God is calling out to you, that God is showing you the disillusion of earthly things and that they are nothing more than sheer vanity. How is it that we cannot be awakened from that profound sleep of death that oppresses us! How can we be so deaf to the many words of advice! Oh! The ineffable goodness of our loving God who, rather than hurling bolts of lightning toward us in righteous justice and condemning us to perdition, is rather moved with compassion toward each sinner.
 St. Gaspar, Spiritual Writings, Vol 1, Introduction to the Holy Missions, Volume 16, p. 458-459
It was an Extraordinary Christmas, Missa ad Nocte, Aurora, and al Die, all in the extraordinary form. The last one was held during a rainstorm.
A few years ago, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, reminded us that what was once sacred in the past, was also sacred in the present; that which nourished the saints that have gone before us, is what is going to nourish us as well. That which was spiritual in the old covenant, remains even more intense in the new. There is a coherence between the two; in fact, they are the same.
People often tell me I am moving backwards and going backwards. No, it is all the same. Faith, piety, prayer, fasting, patience, chastity, charity, psalm singing, the Eucharist; all of this has increased rather than diminished. So therefore, you find Zechariah uttering a prophecy in the form of a hymn after his long silence, and reflecting on all the hopes and dreams of generations after generations of fathers and mothers. “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his holy prophets, he has promised from old…”
It is the morning prayer of the Church. We are at dawn, we are at the beginning, we are at the opening up of the heavens, and the Savior descends. Some might look at what Zechariah said, and think it a bit ridiculous that Zechariah might speak thus to an eight day-old infant. But he had heard the Magnificat of Mary and he had the disposition to rejoice as well, and he takes us all the way through; all the way to the promises of the Old Testament, and then, he changes this one thing. It is not “longed for, off in the future,” it is here and now. It has been accomplished. The Dawn from on high shall break upon us.
And so, the Church –all of you, and all of us, and everybody who has been here for the last hundred years, or everybody who has been in the Catholic Church for the last two thousand years – these are the words that form our prayer every morning, because every morning we are at the beginning again. The dawn has broken upon us, and none of us has a grasp of the end of the day. We do not know what this day is going to bring, but we know that God has visited His people; we know that we are free, we know that we are saved, we know that we are loved.
We do not have a clue about the end of the day. I know what my schedule is, I know what I am supposed to be doing, but God may have other plans. Has it not been wonderful? We are ready now, we are ready for this. We are ready for the experience, yet we still have not quite grasped; actually, we are still not amazed enough.
So, Zechariah has faith now, after nine months of silence, to say to us – Look, look at what is coming. The past is now present. The future is now here. We head toward the eighth day.
When you come to Sunday Mass, you think it is either the beginning of the week or the end of the week; either the first day of the week or the seventh day of the week. Actually, Monday feels like the first day of the week, does it not? So that would make Sunday the seventh day of the week, except, Sunday is the first day of the week in the Scriptures, and it is the eighth day of the week. The eighth day is outside of time. When we are here at the Eucharist, we are at the crib. We are there when the angel announces to Mary, we are there when Zechariah utters his Benedictus – Blessed be the Lord! We are there when Jesus raises the dead and cures the sick. We are present when the Wise Men come; all of it, in God’s eternal “now” – the eighth day. This is the moment when the blood and water flows from the heart of Christ as a font of mercy for all of us. This is the moment; the eighth day outside of time, and on our lips must be this prayer: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, he has come to his people and set them free!”
Omnia Christus Est Nobis
Christ is everything for us!
Burying the Alleluia
Sacristy Art I
Sacristy Art II
Sacristy Art III
Sacristy Art IV
Sacristy Art V
Sacristy Art VI
Years in Review
Decade in review
I am a Roman Catholic Priest from California. I spent 13 wonderful years years as a member of the Province of the Pacific in the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. The outline of my life can be traced here.