Insight into the Catholic Faith presents Catholic Tradition Newsletter

Vol 11 Issue 12 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier

All men are vain in whom there is not the knowledge of God; and who by these good things that are seen, could not understand Him that is, neither by attending to the works have acknowledged who was the workman. (Wisdom 13:1)

March 24, 2018 ~ Saint Gabriel, Archangel, opn!

1. Mary as Co-Redemptrix
2. Palm Sunday
3. Annunciation (Transferred)
4. Family and Marriage
5. Articles and notices

Dear Reader:

Holy Mother Church enters into the holiest of weeks when she joins the Bridegroom in His Sacrificial death. She doesn’t leave His side—all the saints and festivities are cancelled—as His enemies, even Judas, plot to kill Him. She has great comfort that on Holy Thursday Christ will give His Body and Blood so that we can be fed with it and so that He can remain with us until the consummation of the world. But the consolation He gives is soon surpassed as Holy Mother Church follows our Lord to Olivet, there to begin His Passion. She knows that it is the sins of her children who cause Him to suffer this bitter agony, and despite that she wants to stay at His side and pray one hour with Him, all will leave Him. Those who shouted the loudest that they claim Him as King will be the ones shouting the loudest that He be crucified as they abandon their spouses, neglect their children, and participate in vices and extramarital relations. Those who followed only for the miracles and the feeding with bread will now be leaving Him by not attending Mass, not receiving the Sacraments and neglecting the religious upbringing of their children. As, finally the Church is there at His side when He is crucified with Mary, His Mother, the holy women and the beloved disciple, she will see her children mocking Him because He came to save them from their sins, not their self-made problems. She will see her children dying, knowing that even at this moment some will still refuse to repent and be lost, but she prays so that the grace Christ obtained by His Sacrifice will be given to her children to repent at their moment of death. As she sees the Bridegroom placed in the arms of His Mother, she mourns with Mary over His death and pleads with her children to die to sin as He died for sin. Those who listen to Holy Mother Church join with her in celebrating the Resurrection of the Bridegroom because as He rose from the dead, they also rose to the life of grace.

We pray that those who are not able to participate in the Holy Week ceremonies will at least join in spirit and read the Gospel accounts of the Passion of Christ with the family.

As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor
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Mary as Co-Redemptrix

By Rev. Courtney Edward Krier

Mary as Co-Redemptrix as found in the New Testament

There is another scene that Saint Luke provides. It is the woman who praises the mother of Jesus: And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck (Luke 11:27). He gives the same response Matthew and Mark provide upon the visitation of His relatives: But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it (Luke 11:28). Our Lord cannot dishonor His Mother; rather He takes the praise to a higher level: Mary is blessed because she believed the word of the Lord announced by the angel Gabriel and for this she became His Mother. But the crowd listening to Him were refusing to believe Him and would be cursed (ibid. 11:29ff). Returning to the simple words expressed by this woman, she acknowledges that the son received his nurturing from a mother who gave Him wisdom: My son, attend to my wisdom, and incline thy ear to my prudence (Proverbs 5:1); Study wisdom, my son, and make my heart joyful, that thou mayst give an answer to him that reproacheth (27:11); The rod and reproof give wisdom: but the child that is left to his own will bringeth his mother to shame (29:15); and, My son, from thy youth up receive instruction, and even to thy grey hairs thou shalt find wisdom (Eccles. 6:18). Therefore, even Christ gives an allusion when He interjects between references to Jonas the Prophet: The queen of the south shall rise in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold more than Solomon here (Luke 11:31). Mary, therefore, is the Queen Mother, who, like Bethsabee, is seated at the right hand of her Son (cf. 3 Kings 2:19f.).

Saint John introduces Mary as the woman in the Marriage Feast of Cana:

And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them: Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, And saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capharnaum, he and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they remained there not many days. (John 2:1-12)

The third day, after the fourth day, which is the seventh day in John’s parallelism of Genesis shown by his opening his Gospel with the words: In the beginning. . . . John, in his way, is expressing the fulfillment of the Old Testament in Jesus Christ; but that the act of redemption could not be completed without the companion God gave on the seventh day (after everything else was accomplished). In the marriage that John speaks of, there is no mention of the couple who were married, only that the wine failed. It is Mary, the New Eve, who invites the New Adam, Christ, to change the course of history by having him accede to her request and begin the work of redemption. It was already mentioned that Mary delayed the work of Redemption when she returned with her Son to Nazareth after His being absent from her for three days when Jesus was only 12 years old. Now she is telling her divine Son to begin His Hour. Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour (John 12:27). Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour (Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44) The union of the two, the woman and the New Man (Jesus Christ), Christ ostensibly acknowledges when He says: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? (John 2:4) One goes back to Genesis and hears Adam addressing Eve: she shall be called woman (Gen. 2:23). Christ only calls her, woman. But he also names her the new Eve in making her the mother of all the living: Woman, behold thy son (cf. Gen. 3:20; John 19:27).

When one advances to that hour that Christ is on the Cross, Saint John presents this scene:

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own. Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. (19:25-28)

To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee. (Gen. 3:16) From Saint Joseph’s wanting to put Mary away (Matt. 1:18ff) to no room in the inn and the birth of Christ in a stable (Luke 2:7) and the prophecy of Simeon: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed (Luke 2:34-35) followed by the flight into Egypt when Herod sought the Child’s life (Matt. 2:13ff) continued by the Boy Jesus remaining in Jerusalem: And his mother said to him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (Luke 2:48). At the same time, it is Joseph who takes Mary to Bethlehem, flees with Mary and the child to Egypt, and returns with Mary and the child to Nazareth. When the Christ Child remains in Jerusalem she accompanies Joseph back to Jerusalem and shows submission to Joseph by stating, behold thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing (Luke 2:48). At the foot of the Cross, when Christ entrusts His followers to her, it is when she witnesses His death (John 19:27). At this moment she becomes the Mother of all the living (cf. Gen. 3:20). The Church is gathered with Mary in the Upper Room awaiting the coming of the Holy Ghost:

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount that is called Olivet, which is nigh Jerusalem, within a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James. All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. (Acts 1:12-14)

Mary is not lost sight of with the mystery of Pentecost. John continues to outline the role Mary has in relation with her divine Son and the Church when he writes in his Apocaplypse:

And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail.

And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne.

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days. And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: because the accuser of our brethren is cast forth, who accused them before our God day and night.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you that dwell therein. Woe to the earth, and to the sea, because the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man child: And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman, water as it were a river; that he might cause her to be carried away by the river.

And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the river, which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Apoc. 11:19-12:18)

John portrays the battle in heaven, the battle in the garden of Eden, the battle between the Woman and the Serpent, the Serpent and her Child (think of Herod’s seeking the Child’s death, Christ’s temptation in the desert, the Jewish leader’s seeking the death of Christ) and the seed of the Woman and the seed of the Serpent (witnessed in the continual persecution of the Church and the daily struggle her members have against temptation). Genesis 3:15 prophesied victory to the woman but the Apocalypse shows its fulfilment. As the Ark of the Old Testament is in the desert with the Israelites to lead them into the Promised Land, so the Ark of the New Covenant (Mary, the Church) is now with the faithful in the desert of this life whom they will follow into heaven. (To be continued)

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Dr. Pius Parsch

The Church’s Year of Grace (1953)

SECOND PASSION SUNDAY or PALM SUNDAY

Station at St. John Lateran
The King leads His people to victory

l. Introduction. Palm Sunday, the gateway to Holy Week, is first of all, the great memorial to our Lord’s solemn entrance into Jerusalem when He was about to suffer and to die. He did not fall, a victim to Jewish hatred; He went voluntarily to His death, with royal freedom. His death had been divinely decreed as the purchase price of man’s redemption. This festive entrance was His wedding march as He proceeded to seal with blood His bridegroom’s love for man.

Secondly, Palm Sunday is a feast in honor of Christ the King. It marks the first time during His earthly life that He allowed royal homage to be paid Him. In royal fashion He entered the “city of the great King.” His kingship was the main reason why He was convicted and sentenced to die. He was, therefore, a martyr to His royal title.

But throughout the world the Church this day accords Him kingly homage. Into our hands the Church puts palms and olive branches, symbols of our loyalty to Him and of our willingness to do Him homage. Palm Sunday gives us an opportunity publicly to profess our faith in the King of kings.

Thirdly, Palm Sunday brings us face to face with suffering, for it introduces us to Christ’s sacred passion, prepares us for His death on Calvary. We are to share our Master’s burden, a task that becomes possible only if we ourselves are willing to become soldiers and martyrs. The liturgy therefore is quite dramatic. Christ is in our midst, and by our actions we proclaim ourselves His disciples. We accompany Him from Mt. Olivet (blessing of the palms) along the road from Olivet to the city gate of Jerusalem (procession with palms), into the Holy City itself (Mass, in the stational church).

The characters in this sacred drama are: (1) Christ. He is present on the Cross borne at the head of the procession or in the person of the priest. (In past centuries the figure of an ass carrying a statue of Christ was drawn along in a little cart; this was called the palm-donkey, an expression still current in certain places). (2) The band of apostles and disciples, viz., all present. Children especially play an important role, they represent the Jewish boys who cried “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

This, then, is the profound meaning of Palm Sunday: Christ, the King of martyrs, enters upon His sacred passion in union with all martyrs and confessors, members of His Body the Church.

2. The Sacred Drama of Palm Sunday. The Blessing of the Palms (or other Green Branches). As the priest clothed in red vestments approaches the table on which the palm branches are lying, he is greeted with a song that sees in him the person of Christ:

Hosanna to the son of David!
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
O King of Israel: Hosanna in the heavens above!

Facing the people he proceeds to bless the palms with a single prayer; God’s blessing is invoked and His aid is asked that “our hearts above all else may be attached to His merciful work of redemption.” There follows a triple sprinkling with holy water and a triple incensation. This simple form for the blessing according to the new rite has eliminated much from the previous ritual and leaves more time for the remaining service.

b) The Distribution of the Branches. Here, for the first time, do we have an official restoration of a practice common through many centuries. While the sacred ministers and the faithful are receiving the blessed branches, two psalms are chanted with an antiphon repeated after every second verse. This refrain arrangement makes it considerably easier for a greater number to join in at the chorus, while a more select group continues with the text of the psalm. Something of the tremendous impact of the whole when voiced by a large assembly may already be sensed when read in sequence:

The Jewish children took up olive branches and went forth to meet the Lord, shouting the words, “Hosanna in the heavens above!”

The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

The Jewish children took up olive branches and went forth to meet the Lord, shouting the words, “Hosanna in the heavens above!”

Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
“Who is this king of glory? “
“The Lord, strong and mighty,
The Lord, mighty in battle.”

The Jewish children took up olive branches and went forth to meet the Lord, shouting the words, “Hosanna in the heavens above!”

Lift up, O gates your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
“Who is this king of glory?”
“The Lord of hosts; he is the king of glory.”
The Jewish children took up olive branches and went forth to meet the Lord, shouting the words, “Hosanna in the heavens above!”

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Jewish children took up olive branches and went forth to meet the Lord, shouting the words, “Hosanna in the heavens above!”

The awareness of a joyous solemnity is mounting. By receiving the palm we proclaim ourselves ready for martyrdom, ready to accompany Christ Jesus, the King of martyrs, to His passion. It is our annual consecration to knighthood and martyrdom. They are sacramentals which bring redemptive graces, and they are symbols. The Redeemer is walking the road to Calvary, and we follow Him with palms in our hands.

c) The Gospel Reading. It is easily seen that the service would be incomplete without the story of our blessed Savior’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. For that provides the model. At the opening words we fill our minds with the scene about the Holy City and take our places amid the throng. Alert and observant, we miss no detail.

d) The Procession. Mother Church sees that her children can wait no longer; the reading filled their minds with action, and they are ready to reproduce the scene. Procedamus in pace, her minister bids them. And all present respond: In nomine Christi. Amen. And as soldiers and martyrs of Christ do we accompany the Lord and King of martyrs into battle; in this lies the real significance of the rite. It is a march in which we join to honor the Conqueror over death and hell as He proceeds to the battlefield. We should play our part with genuine emotion. Imagine you are living in the age of martyrs. One of your companions is condemned to death for his faith, and the community accompanies him upon his last journey. With what reverence and awe you would march along!

The procession begins, the Cross in front. The lovely chants keep reminding us that we, as disciples, are accompanying our Lord, who has triumphed over death. What profound meaning there is in this procession: Christians are marching with Christ, a train of heroes and conquerors!

Like the angels and children,
may we too be found faithful,
singing out to the Conqueror of death:
“Hosanna in the heavens above!”

Crowds go out with flowers and palms
to meet the Redeemer;
worthy homage they pay to the Conqueror
who comes home in triumph.
All the world proclaims Him Son of God,
and the heavens re-echo their praises of Christ:
“Hosanna!”

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