In honor of Mary, Mother of God
Warm rain joined pilgrims this morning on their way to the oldest church in the West dedicated to Our Lady, St. Mary Major. Miraculous snow on 5 August 353 AD marked the spot where Our Lady desired this church to be erected on the Esquiline Hill. The title Our Lady of the Snow took. After the Council of Ephesus in 431, which named Mary as the Mother of God, Pope Sixtus III began construction. Relics of the original crib that held baby Christ are kept in a reliquary here. The remains of St. Jerome rest in the crypt.
Feeding our love for the Eucharist through Fasting
In today’s readings, Christ continues to call us to purify our desire for authentic conversion through fasting. May our fasting this Lent increase our love for the Eucharistic. We can apply the desire we have for things we are offering up to the Eucharist. Transform the craving you have for food, into thirst for the Eucharist. May the pangs of hunger we feel, the sacrifice of abstaining from meat on Fridays, or coffee without sugar, or bread without butter, or fries without ketchup, be small but effective ways of increasing our appetite for the Eucharist, intensifying our desire to be united to Christ, to allow him to be more present to us than we are to ourselves, so that our days become either periods of thanksgiving after we have received Holy Communion or anticipation looking forward to the next time we will receive Christ. By converting our longing for material things into devotion for the Eucharist, may we allow Christ to reign in us.
Written by Fr. Charlie Gallagher
Photos by Fr. Justin Huber