February 11, 2011
+ Our Lady of Lourdes
Isaiah 66: 10-14
John 2: 1-11
The apparition of Our Lady at Lourdes, at the time a small village in the foothills of the Pyrenees, in 1858, was significant for many reasons.
Europe, in the mid nineteenth century, was still suffering from several ills: the effects of the fraudulent claims of the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and France herself could not shake completely the catastrophe that was the French Revolution.
Concretely, many Catholics were disoriented. They denounced the Church, were harshly critical of bishops and priests, questioned, ridiculed and then abandoned the Faith.
Yet, all was not lost for the “Church’s Eldest Daughter.” In the midst of all of this turmoil, Our Lady comes to comfort the Faithful, personified in the humble peasant, Bernadette Soubirous. The Mother of Christ, and of all the Faithful, offers a message of hope and genuine joy.
Distilled, the Message of Lourdes is the same as the directive that Our Lady gave to the waiters during the Wedding Feast at Cana: “Do whatever He tells us.”
In fact, this is the essence of the life of every Christian: fidelity to Christ and the Gospel.
May this Feast of Our Lady, commemorating her apparition at Lourdes, encourage and strengthen us in our daily effort to be faithful to Jesus, her Divine Son, to the Church and to the Gospel.
Notre Dame de Lourdes, priez pour nous, toujours!