Jesus, in turning the water into wine … “transforms the Law of Moses into the Gospel, bringer of joy.”

Pope Francis: Want to celebrate well? Drink wine.

by Elise Harris

Vatican City, Jun 8, 2016 / 05:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In an in-depth look at Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana, Pope Francis pointed to several key moments in the scene that illuminate our understanding of Christ.

One of these key moments, he said, comes with Mary’s observation that newlywed couple’s resources have depleted, and that at a certain point “they have no wine.”

“How is it possible to celebrate the wedding and have a party if you lack what the prophets indicated was a typical element of the messianic banquet?” the Pope asked.

While water is necessary to live, “wine expresses the abundance of the banquet and the joy of the feast,” Francis said, noting that “a wedding feast lacking wine embarrasses the newlyweds – imagine finishing the wedding feast drinking tea? It would be an embarrassment!”

“Wine is necessary for the feast,” he said, and pointed to how Jesus, in turning the water into wine, makes “an eloquent sign,” because “he transforms the Law of Moses into the Gospel, bringer of joy.”

However, before beginning his address, the Pope took a moment to greet a group of couples present celebrating 50 years of marriage.

“That’s the good wine of the family!” he said of the couples, and told them that “yours is a witness that the newlyweds I’ll greet after and the youth must learn. It’s a beautiful witness. Thank you for your testimony!”

Francis then turned to the second chapter in the Gospel of John, which recounts the miracle that began Jesus’ public ministry: turning water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana, upon the request of his mother.

This miracle, the Pope said, serves as “an ‘entry point’ in which are engraved the words and expressions that illuminate the entire mystery of Christ and open the hearts of the disciples to the faith.”

In the expression that Jesus was “with his disciples,” it’s made clear that the ones Jesus has called to follow him are now bound together as a community and as a family, he said.

By initiating his public ministry at the wedding at Cana, Jesus both reveals himself as the bridegroom of the People of God who had been announced by the prophets, and also shows “the depth of the relationship which unites us to him: it’s a New Covenant of love.”

Francis said that the foundation of our faith is “an act of mercy with which Jesus has bound us to himself.” The Christian life, then, “is a response to this love, it’s the story of two lovers.”

Another key point in the passage is when Mary, after informing Jesus that the newlywed couple had run out of wine, tells the servants to “do whatever he tells you.”

He noted how Mary’s expression is similar to another — ‘What the Lord has said, we will do!’ – which was used by the people of Israel when they received the covenant with God on Mount Sinai.

In the wedding at Cana, a New Covenant is “truly stipulated” and the servants of the Lord, who are “the entire Church,” are entrusted with a new mission, the Pope explained.

This mission, following Mary’s directive to “Do whatever he tells you,” means serving the Lord by listening to his Word and putting it into practice, Francis continued, adding that “it’s the simple but essential recommendation of the Mother of Jesus and it’s the program of the Christian life.”

Jesus began his public works at Cana, revealing his glory to his disciples and cementing their belief in him, the Pope observed. Given these facts, “the wedding of Cana is much more than a simple story about Jesus’ first miracle.”

“Like a treasure chest, (Jesus) guards the secret of his person and the purpose for his coming,” Pope Francis said, explaining that it is through this wedding that Jesus binds his disciples to himself “with a new and definitive covenant.”

Francis closed his address by noting how Cana marks the place where Jesus’ disciples become his family and “the faith of the Church is born,” adding that “we are all invited to that wedding, because the new wine will never be lacking!”

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Taken from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-want-to-celebrate-well-drink-wine-16554/

Want to get close to Jesus? Be meek, Pope Francis says

cover SacredHeart

Vatican City, Jun 6, 2016 / 11:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Meekness of heart is not foolishness, Pope Francis said Monday, but rather “the capacity to be deep and to understand the greatness of God, and worship Him.”The Pope reflected during his homily Monday on the Beatitudes as steps that take us towards God.
The Pope’s homily came during the June 6 Mass at the Casa Santa Martha residence, Vatican Radio reports. He reflected on the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.Pope Francis encouraged reflection on the beatitude, “Blessed are the Meek,” saying that the opposite of meekness “always causes enmities and wars.”
“Jesus says of himself: ‘learn from me for I am meek of heart’, I am humble and gentle at heart. To be meek is a way of being that brings us close to Jesus.”

The beatitudes are “the Lord’s new law for us.” They are “the steps that take us forward in life,” the pontiff said.

The Pope also drew on the Gospel of Luke, which accompanies the Beatitudes with a list of warnings: “Woe to the rich, to the satiated, to those who laugh now, to you when all speak well of you.”

Just as the Beatitudes lead us to heaven, he said, there are three steps that carry us to ruin.

There is attachment to riches, a sin which becomes idolatry. Attachment to riches is “the anti-law” and “the wrong navigator,” though riches are not evil in themselves, he said.

Next, there is vanity, which Pope Francis described as the view that “all must speak well of me, making me feel important, making too much of a fuss… and I am convinced to be in the right.”
The Pope noted the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee and warned against having an attitude that says, “O God I thank you that I am such a good Catholic, not like my neighbor…”

Finally, he denounced pride, rejecting it as “satiation and the laughter that closes one’s heart.”

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Taken from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/want-to-get-close-to-jesus-be-meek-pope-francis-says-47570/

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THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS

Sacred Heart of Jesus

The heart has always been seen as the “center” or essence a person (“the heart of the matter,” “you are my heart,” “take it to heart,” etc.) and the wellspring of our emotional lives and love (“you break my heart,” “my heart sings,” etc.) Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is devotion to Jesus Christ Himself, but in the particular ways of meditating on his interior life and on His threefold love — His divine love, His burning love that fed His human will, and His sensible love that affects His interior life.
Pope Pius XII of blessed memory writes on this topic in his 1956 encyclical, Haurietis Aquas (On Devotion To The Sacred Heart).

The Friday that follows the Second Sunday in Time After Pentecost is the Feast of the Sacred Heart which brings to mind all the attributes of His Divine Heart mentioned above. Many Catholics prepare for this Feast by beginning a Novena to the Sacred Heart on the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is the Thursday of the week before. On the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, we can gain a plenary indulgence by making an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart.

From the earliest days of the Church, “Christ’s open side and the mystery of blood and water were meditated upon, and the Church was beheld issuing from the side of Jesus, as Eve came forth from the side of Adam. It is in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that we find the first unmistakable indications of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Through the wound in the side, the wound in the Heart was gradually reached, and the wound in the Heart symbolized the wound of love.” (Catholic Encyclopedia)

This general devotion arose first in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries of that time, especially in response to the devotion of St. Gertrude the Great, but specific devotions became popularized when St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), a Visitation nun, had a personal revelation involving a series of visions of Christ as she prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote, “He disclosed to me the marvels of his Love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart.” Christ emphasized to her His love — and His woundedness caused by Man’s indifference to this love.

He promised that, in response to those who consecrate themselves and make reparations to His Sacred Heart, that:

  • He will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
  • He will establish peace in their homes.
  • He will comfort them in all their afflictions.
  • He will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
  • He will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
  • Sinners will find in His Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  • Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
  • Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
  • He will bless every place in which an image of His Heart is exposed and honored.
  • He will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
  • Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in His Heart.
  • In the excessive mercy of His Heart that His all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in His disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. His divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

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Taken from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint.php?n=275

 

O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for me is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Your presence, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Your loving Heart is everywhere subject.