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a message from the shrine director in ordinary time

“Let each of us please our neighbor for the good, for building up. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you fall upon me.” For whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.” - Romans 15:2-7

If your morning routine is like mine, you begin the day with a cup of coffee and a quiet hour of reading and reflecting on the scriptures. The morning brings new light into our lives each day as the sun begins its ascent into the sky, as the birds begin their busy work and as the mind becomes aware of our daily responsibilities, challenges and duties. The grounding of our day is often echoed in the words of scripture, not by choice but by happy coincidence of the chosen readings.

We just celebrated three beautiful Solemnities – Pentecost, Trinity and Corpus Christi – and our hearts should be filled with overflowing joy in recognition of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our everyday lives. Taking the best of each Solemnity brings us closer to Mary, our mother, as a model of true discipleship and absolute Mother of the Church.

Ordinary Time comes to us once again just after these celebrations and brings us closer to the reality of Christ among us. As He lived and moved about different towns and regions, his ministry was anything but ordinary. Instead, it was quite amazing and life-giving and still feeds us today. As we reflect daily and ponder the words of scripture, we realize that Ordinary Time is an Extraordinary Time. As St. Paul writes, “For whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”

And who doesn’t need a daily dose of hope?

I want to thank each of you for your continued encouragement of all we do at the Shrine and for your unwavering presence. Your financial support in all ways helps us to continue the mission and ministry of the Carmelite charism and provide you with a peaceful place to nourish your relationship with Jesus, Mary and Joseph and all the Carmelite saints. As St. Paul also reminds us “Let each of please our neighbor for the good, for building up.”

As I prepare to embark on our journey to The Holy Land next week along with Fr. Joseph Nguyen Do, O.Carm. and many eager pilgrims, my steps will take me to Mount Carmel and through the towns and regions that Jesus walked and ministered, healed and helped, and gave His life for us. Our Shrine family is a special one and I have come to know many of you through your sharing of joys, hardships and challenges. Know that I take all of you with me in prayer as my virtual companions to The Holy Land. Please pray for us during this time of pilgrimage!

God bless you – Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!
Carol Bezak, MA
Shrine Director

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