Site links Mary, Carmelites
Feast remembers an apparition and Mary's giving of the scapular
By Roger Vanden Busch
||July 16, 2003, Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
READINGS: Zec 2:14-17; Lk 11:27-28
"While Jesus was speaking to the crowd a woman called out,
'Blest is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!'
'Rather,' he replied, 'blest are they who hear the word of God and
REFLECTION: Mt. Carmel is a prominent site in the Holy
Land. The prophet Elijah found refuge in a cave there after he fled
those who persecuted him. While dwelling in the cave, he prayed for
enlightenment and sought the presence of God in wind, fire, thunder
and earthquake. However, he encountered God in a "still, quiet
Today Mt. Carmel is referred as the Mount of St. Elijah.
According to legend, devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel began
when Mary appeared to an English Carmelite, St. Simon Stock. She
gave him a scapular as a sign of one's commitment to Jesus and the
surrounding and permeating presence of God.
In the first reading, the author celebrates the presence of God
in the midst of his people and the reconciliation of nations. The
prophet calls for silence in the Lord's presence. Often silence
says more than thousands of words which fail to meet the point. In
the Gospel, the woman who cries out is found only in Luke. In
essence she says, "How happy the mother of such a son must be."
Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "I was not an easy child to raise,
but I think my mother enjoyed it." Jesus cautions us to hear the
word of God and to keep it, and more importantly to live it and
RELEVANCE: Perhaps scapulars are not worn as much today
as they were 20 years ago. However, is your commitment to Jesus
obvious to others?
"Because she understood me far better than I myself could
understand; Because her faith in me ... Because of her undying love
for me, I better comprehend the love of God" (author unknown).
In the midst of a flurry of daily activity, it is hard to focus
on the presence of God or find that island of silence that reminds
us of our commitment to Jesus. Often God comes to us in ordinary
happenings of each day which become fodder for our spiritual life.
It was early, before breakfast, when a youngster walked onto a
newly cleaned floor with muddy feet and hands behind his back. Just
as the mother was about to get angry, the boy offered the bunch of
wildflowers he had just picked. "It is your birthday, Mommy. Happy
RESPONSE: Wear an internal or external symbol of your
commitment to Jesus.
(Vanden Busch, a Green Bay educator, is a columnist for Catechist magazine. A compilation of his columns is available through Notre Dame Middle School, De Pere.)