Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
A most joyous day for us to celebrate. The first apparition at Lourdes was on February 11, 1858. There were a total of eighteen apparitions. The last one was on July 16, 1858. It's said that Bernadette use to fall into an ecstasy during these apparitions, there were hundreds of people who attended the later visions, but no one except Bernadette saw or heard the apparition. On this most special day we reflect on today's gospel: Mark 7:24-30 (The Faith of a Syrophoenician Woman). Has Jesus ever made you feel like He put you off? Has your faith ever been so tested, that you stand strong through some of the toughest of words yet still refuse to "not believe"? Surely this scripture will fill your heart with such joy and hope. This woman was indeed tenacious, she knew Jesus was the one to heal her daughter of the unclean spirit. And in the end He indeed healed her.
Do we approach Jesus truly knowing who He is? Do we seek Him out and beg Him for a healing, a healing we know only He can do in our lives? Being tenacious and never giving up is a good quality, and we do read about it in the bible. And in all those situations we read about, in the end they all got what they asked for, a healing. Look at this scripture, "This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her." Acts 16:17-18 She would not leave the disciples alone, but in the end she was healed and the unclean spirit left her. Are we like that, does our passion and love for Him sink so deep into who we are, that it literally flows in our blood?
You know Jesus also used this method to get a very important message across to Peter once. I really like this particular passage a lot. I believe Jesus teaches us in this scripture that being persistent in our faith and in our method of evangelizing; at times when we know it's critical, we to can be like Jesus. "When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"" John 21:15-19
On this wonderful Feast day let us think about what we really want God to heal in our lives; or maybe we want to share our faith with someone and they just don't get what you are saying, or maybe it's something else. I challenge all of you to honker down and begin. Maybe there is a particular sin, or bad habit you really want God to heal you from, so that it will forever leave you. Trust in Him, pray about all these things and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you through this. I know I am very persistent with Jesus and our Blessed Mother. And I have to tell you, not everything has come to pass; but I am so impressed and pleased that overall, so many prayers have been answered through the years. Trust in Him, allow Him to lead your heart.
Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes
O Mother of Mercy, comforter of the afflicted, you know my suffering and my needs. Look upon me with loving kindness.
By appearing at the Grotto of Lourdes, you made it a sacred place,
a sanctuary of healing.Many have been cured there, both physically and spiritually. I come, therefore, with faith in the Lord's healing power.
O Mary, please grant my requests for healing. Most of all, help me to know and embrace God's will for me. Amen
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO