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They have no wine

Wedding FeastThe most devastating words in the New Testament is the sentence: “They have no wine.” At the first blush we snicker. On the second, the lack of wine indicates that the wine of the sacred Banquet, that of the new covenant is desired, thirsted for. Only Jesus can provide it. Today’s Gospel reading for the Second Sunday the Year relates to us The miracle of the Wedding Feast at Cana.

St. Alphonsus Liguori once said: “Why are Mary’s prayers so effective with God? The prayers of the saints are prayers of servants, but Mary’s are a mother’s prayer, from that flows their effectiveness and authority. Since Jesus has immense love for his mother, she cannot pray without being listened to…There was a shortage of wine, which naturally worried the married couple. No one asks the Blessed Virgin to intervene and request her Son to come to the rescue of the couple. But Mary’s heart cannot but take pity on the unfortunate couple…it stirs her to act as intercessor and ask her Son for the miracle, even though no one asks her to…If Our Lady acted like this without being asked, what would she have not done if they actually asked her to intervene?”

Here’s a thought from Pope Francis:

“But Mary, at the very moment she perceives that there is no wine, approaches Jesus with confidence: this means that Mary prays….The family is a school where prayer also reminds us that we are not isolated individuals; we are one and we have a neighbor close at hand: he or she is living under the same roof, is a part of our life, and is in need.”

All Saints

Solemnity of All Saints

“I travel slowly, one step at a time, because I am carrying two big suitcases. One of them contains my sins, and in the other, which is much heavier, are the infinite merits of Jesus. When I reach heaven I will open the suitcases and say to God: ‘Eternal Father, now you can judge.’ And to St. Peter: ‘Close the door, because I’m staying.’”

― St. Josephine Bakhita

St Michael the Archangel

Michael, Archangel
Of the King of Kings,
Give ear to our voices.

We acknowledge thee to be the Prince of the citizens of heaven:
And at thy prayer God sends
His angels unto men,

That the enemy with cunning craft shall not prevail
To do the hurt he craves
To weary men.
Yea, thou hast the dominion of perpetual Paradise,
And ever do the holy angels honour thee.

Thou wert seen in the Temple of God,
A censer of gold in thy hands,
And the smoke of it fragrant with spices
Rose up till it came before God.

Thou with strong hand didst smite the cruel dragon,
And many souls didst rescue from his jaws.
Then was there a great silence in heaven,
And a thousand thousand saying “Glory to the Lord King.”

Hear us, Michael,
Greatest angel,
Come down a little
From thy high seat,
To bring us the strength of God,
And the lightening of His mercy.

And do thou, Gabriel,
Lay low our foes,
And thou, Raphael,
Heal our sick,
Purge our disease, ease thou our pain,
And give us to share
In the joys of the blessed.

– Alcuin, Sequence for St Michael (translated by Helen Waddell, Medieval Latin Lyrics (New York, 1948), pp.91-3;

Blessed Margaret Pole

Blessed Margaret PoleBlessed Margaret Pole, daughter of the Duke of Clarence and niece of King Edward IV and King Richard III of England. Margaret was married to Sir Richard Pole in 1491 and the mother of five, one of whom became a cardinal. As her guardian, King Henry VIII, granted her the title of Countess of Salisbury and governess to his daughter, Princess Mary.

Margaret opposed King Henry‘s plan to marry Ann Boleyn and as a consequence was driven from his court in disfavor. Her son, Cardinal Reginald Pole, wrote against Henry‘s presumptions to spiritual supremacy which led the king to reject the family. Margaret’s two sons were executed in 1538 for the crime of being the brothers of the Cardinal.

In 1539, falsely arrested and charged with plotting revolution and was sent to the Tower of London for nearly two years before in 1541 had a weak trial and was martyred by beheading. The axman could not lop off her head and she had suffered greatly.

Pope Leo XIII declared Margaret blessed on 29 December 1886.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Saint Therese of Lisieux 1896‘In spite of my littleness, I would like to enlighten souls as did the Prophets and the Doctors. I have the vocation of the Apostles. I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach your Name and to plant your glorious cross on infidel soil. But…one mission alone would not be sufficient for me, I would want to preach the Gospel on all the five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years only, but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages.’

(The Story of a Soul: the Autobiography of St Thérèse of Lisieux)

May the Saint intercede for the missions, at home and abroad.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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