Sermons

Summary: The infinite dimensions of Mary's the mind and will of God and her surrender.

Psalm 90:12 says, “Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”

There should not be a New Year’s Day that goes by that we don’t remind ourselves of that truth one way or another.

Last night, one guy was really counting down the time for the New Year. He remarked last night just before midnight, “I hate freeloaders who join in the New Year’s Eve countdown for the last ten seconds. I’ve been doing this all year. Where were you back in May?”

To illustrate this perspective, author Calvin Miller tells about visiting with an old parishioner. The man was near death. “Do you think you will die, Ralph?” Miller asked this sick old patriarch, rather bluntly.

“Yes, replied the old man, “but more important than that,” the old man said, “I think you will die too.”

This remark stunned Calvin Miller: He was twenty years old, and the old man was ninety.

“As a matter of fact,” the old man said, “I'm pretty convinced that everybody who is living is going to die—some sooner, some later. And the only people who will really matter, when the dying is done with, are those who were good stewards of the time they have lived.”

Consider the blessing in our First Reading today from the Book of Numbers: The first and last words in the blessing or benediction are the actual word "blessing."

A Blessing to begin the year, and a blessing to end it as in the Hail Mary prayer: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”

Mary, the Mother of God is what we celebrate today.

Genealogy-wise, Jesus gets his line of David from Joseph, but he got all his genetic material from Mary.

An early heresy claimed that Mary was only a mother of the human part of Jesus, so the title Theotokos was adopted for Mary which is Greek for God-bearer or Mater Dei in Latin for Mother of God.

Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, the fact that she is also the Mother of God is inescapable, for if Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. There is no way out of this logical syllogism.

Consider what Protestant scholar, David S.Yeago posits when he states that the exclusion of Mary from the Protestant consciousness constitutes a "Christological disease." He means that if one is not clear that Mary is the mother of God, then one is not clear who Jesus Christ is as true God and true Man.

Vatican II , in the third session of the Council, proclaimed Mary to be "Mother of the Church."

Mary surrendered to God’s plan, and surrender is a paradox because surrender is as:

“at once a yielding and a conquest,

weakness and power,

annihilation and creativity,

anonymity and openness,

captivity and freedom,

death and life.”

[see The Virgin Mary as “Eternal Woman” written by Ann Astell].

So that we pray the rosary everyday in this new year, I conclude with a very powerful image that symbolizes the power of the Rosary is seen in Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel. Looking closely at the detail we can see two men being hauled up to heaven by what looks like a rope. However, on closer inspection we can see it is actually rosary beads.

Blessed Bartolo Longo called the rosary, “a chain” which links us to God and also pulls down to earth the graces that we need to live the Christian life through Mary's intercession. We can rope other people with it too, e.g.

A prayer for children by parents, “Holy Mary, Celestial Queen, with this rosary I bind my children to your Immaculate Heart.

Amen.

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Jenick Johnson

commented on Sep 20, 2019

If there is any doubt about the mother of God, how can she ask Jesus and give us help in our difficulties like the wedding at Cana. She is the mother of Jesus,

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