Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, February 11, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Good morning.  Today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.  153 years ago today a young woman appeared to a little girl by the name of Bernadette Soubirous. In a matter of weeks, on March 25th, this woman would identify herself to Bernadette by saying "I am the Immaculate Conception." Saint Bernadette was the first child of an extremely poor miller in the town of Lourdes in southern France.  Bernadette was just out gathering firewood when she came upon this apparition in the bank of the Gave River near Lourdes, it was probably the very last thing she thought she’d see that day.  I too will be gathering firewood today, but I hardly anticipate that like Saint Bernadette I’ll happen upon an apparition of Our Lady nor do I anticipate that I’ll encounter Our Lord in a personal way during my visit to the woods. I sometimes wonder how I would react if I did in fact have such an encounter. Yet in a very real way each of us do everyday; we meet Christ in the people we meet every day. I do attempt to venture forth each and every day with the expectation of meeting Jesus in others as I journey through my day.  As parents it is our job to instruct our children in the Faith, to help them develop a personal and meaningful relationship with Jesus.  Having our children develop a personal relationship with God is not anything which we are able to instruct, but rather it is something which they have to come to experience and they begin this by observing such experiences in us, their parents.  In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals a man’s deafness through proclaiming “Ephphatha!” an Aramaic word meaning to be opened. Our children come to be open to the goodness of Our Lord by being open to Christ’s presence in their lives and they come to an awareness of this through their experience of His presence in ours.  When our children witness us experiencing Jesus in others and in the things we do throughout our daily life activities, they come to know Jesus. When they witness us praying, when they hear our gratitude for life and all its goodness, and when they see us welcoming and interacting with others as if we were welcoming and interacting with Jesus, they come to know Him.  I pray that I may encounter Jesus in the woods today, and may each of us come to know Him and welcome Him in those we meet today.  Make a great day!

For more on Our Lady of Lourdes I invite you to visit an informational posting by EWTN. As we approach the Feast of Saint Valentine you might wish to visit the USCCB site and check out the list of the Top Ten Love Stories of the Bible.

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