+ (Penitential rite) The memorial this morning of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is largely a Carmelite feast, the Order that goes back to the late 12th century and the first Carmelite hermits living on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land. Our first reading from Isaiah compares acceptance of our sinfulness and that of others to a woman giving birth, writhing in labor pain. So let us be mindful of our sins.
(After the Gospel) St. Teresa of Avila called Carmel “the Order of the Virgin.” St John of the Cross credited Mary with saving him from drowning as a child, leading him to join the Carmelite Order. St Therese of the Child Jesus believed that Mary cured her from an early illness that endangered her life and spoke of Mary frequently during her final sickness.
Our gospel is especially fitting for this memorial of Mary. Peoples everywhere are burdened with all that is going on because of the pandemic. There is a lot we do not know about the life of Mary, faced as she was with the rejection of her Son by her own people. As the spread of the corona virus is taking place, many are ignoring basic requirements for staying healthy. Christ’s invitation to learn of him for he is meek and humble of heart is more relevant than ever before. Only then will we find the rest we seek and know firsthand that his yoke is easy and his burden light. The promise of Isaiah will become true: O Lord you mete out peace to us, for it is you who have accomplished all we have done.”
Is.26:7-9, 12, 16-19; Mt. 11:28-30