Daily Reflections
by Cathy

Be the first!

(c)Mateo Ivankovic 2018


April 20, 2018

Dear Family of Mary!

“…Apostles of my love, you must pray much and cleanse your hearts so that you may be the first to walk on the way of my Son…” (April 2, 2018)

I have had several people ask me what Our Lady means by this phrase, ‘that you may be the first to walk on the way of my Son.” Does she want us to be the “best” or the most renowned? Doesn’t she urge us to humility?

Good question.

In this part of the message Our Lady first of all calls us to “pray much”. She wants us to really give time to prayer. Over and over again, she has called us to prayer in almost every message. She has used the word pray or prayer over 2000 times in her messages. Surely prayer is at the top of her agenda for us. And with good reason. Without prayer we have no communication with God. We have no avenue for the Holy Spirit to travel on into our hearts. Prayer provides the possibility for communion with Jesus.

And she calls us to cleanse our hearts. She wants us to be pure, free of habitual sin, delivered of all evil inclinations and healed of the consequences of our sins. She wants us free to be children of God. Renunciation, fasting, and confession are the tools for such cleansing!

And then we get to the troublesome part of this message. “…so that you may be the first to walk on the way of my Son…” Once we have prayed much and cleansed our hearts, what will we be like? Will we be the greatest of those who walk the way of her Son? The best, the smartest? No, we will be the “first” to walk on the way…we will be the quickest of all to respond to the call of Jesus. We may not be the best, the smartest, the holiest to walk on the way of Jesus. But we will be the fastest to respond to Jesus when He calls us. We will be so devoted to Jesus, so ready to hear His call, that we will respond to His inspirations with alacrity. There will be no impediment to our “yes” to the Holy Spirit, nothing will be gumming up the works!

We can take St. Paul as an example. In today’s Mass, the first reading is from Acts 9:10-20. It is the account of St. Paul’s conversion. After his encounter with Jesus in the desert, St. Paul is blinded, and spends three days fasting and praying. It is a crash course in cleansing of the heart!! Then he is healed, baptized and immediately gets to work. “He began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” St. Paul did not hesitate, he was the “first” to walk the way of Jesus, spreading the Gospel. And he never stopped for the rest of his life on earth.

I think that is what it means to be the first! We must be totally surrendered to Jesus, so that whatever He asks of us, we will do. No hesitation. No balking. Always yes!!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan

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