Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health Vailankanni The Place of Our Lady's Apparitions

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Thought of the day
Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

"The bridegroom is with them"


“I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul” (Is 61,10)... The coming, the presence of the Lord, spoken of by the prophet in this verse, is the kiss desired by the bride in the Song of Songs when she says: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” (Sg 1,1). And that faithful bride is the Church: born in the patriarchs, she was betrothed in Moses and the prophets; from the ardent desire of her heart she sighed for the coming of the Beloved... Now, full of joy at having received this kiss, she cries out in happiness: “I rejoice heartily in the Lord!” 

Sharing in this joy, John the Baptist, the renowned “friend of the Bridegroom”, the confidant of the secrets of the Bridegroom and the bride, the witness to their love for each other, declares: “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete” (Jn 3,29). Without a doubt he who was the Bridegroom's precursor in his birth, the precursor, too, of his Passion when he descended to hell, announced the Good News to the Church that was waiting expectantly there... 

So this verse is extremely apposite to the rejoicing Church when, in the resting place of the dead, she hastens even then to meet the Bridegroom: “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul. What, then, is the reason for my joy? What is the cause of my exultation? It is that he has “clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of joy” (cf. v.10). In Adam I was stripped naked; I had to gather fig leaves to conceal my nakedness; wretchedly clad in garments of skin, I was expelled from Paradise (Gn 3,7.21). But today my Lord and my God has replaced those leaves with the robe of salvation. Through his Passion in our flesh he has clothed me in a new robe, that of baptism and the remission of sins; and in place of the leather tunic of mortality he has wrapped a second robe around me, that of the resurrection and immortality.” 

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075-1130), Benedictine monk 
The Trinity and its works, Book 42, On Isaiah, 2, 26

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