July 2nd – Feast of the Magnificat and of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Her cousin Elizabeth. Extracts of Conferences of Father John Gregory on Gratitude and the Magnificat.
The Gospel is a story: the most beautiful, captivating, sublime story in the world. We should cherish it all the more because it is so closely bound to our destiny and it reveals to us the mystery of our own life. The hero of this story is God — God who came down from heaven and was made Man for love of us. During the years of His earthly life, He was seen going from town to town and village to village, climbing mountains, sailing to little islets and watering all the roads of Palestine with His sweat, in order to proclaim to one and all the Good News that He was bringing to the world. He dwelt among us like a friend with his friends, a brother among his brothers. As much and more than we, He worked, He suffered, He wept; but above all He loved… He loved even unto death!
The Eucharist is Christ, and Christ is the source of all grace. Corpus Christi is the feast of grace par excellence. The source of grace, God Himself, makes Himself the food of our souls. The transformation of souls will follow upon true devotion to the Eucharist.
Our Lord laid the foundations of His Church during His public life, and after His Resurrection He gave it the powers necessary for its mission. It was by the Holy Ghost that the Apostles were to be trained and endued with strength from on High. At Pentecost we celebrate the first manifestation of the Holy Ghost among our Lord’s disciples and the foundation of the Church itself.
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. But the hireling, who is not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees. And the wolf snatches and scatters the sheep; but the hireling flees because he is a hireling, and has no concern for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and I know Mine and Mine know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.”
The Risen Christ, magnificent and mighty, seems to be saying to us, Peace be to you. This is the Redeemer, the Merciful Christ as He manifested Himself to Blessed Sister Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament, (Helena Kowalska — 1905-1938). By means of this image which represents Him, Jesus wants to touch people’s hearts and inspire trust in His infinite Mercy.