A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – 1/1/18 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
One of the things, that might be very important for us to ask ourselves tonight, is how did we get here to this particular situation. And I don’t’ mean sitting here in a church in Westfield, Indiana, on a bitter cold, New Year’s Eve. We know we drove here. We know that we choose to live in Indiana. We know that it is December 31st! What I’m talking about, is Mary being the Mother of God. Of course, we know, that God had been planning the Incarnation from the beginning of creation. And we know that we, as His people, are still celebrating the Octave of Christmas. And we are grateful this Gift of God’s Son, who saves us, and changes us for all eternity. And so God did His part to make this all happen. But I’m talking specifically about Mary. How does this young woman end up being the Mother of God? How did this happen? And what made this possible? What is it that draws us out of our warm homes and comfortable surroundings to celebrate this Feast Day? Well, I’d like to suggest to you that it is Mary’s great Faith! Mary is chosen to be the Mother of God, because she has a Faith and a trust unlike anybody else’s. This young woman loved and trusted God in a way that is an example for all of us! And that love and trust, enabled Mary to be obedient to God, in a most amazing way.
It’s hard to be obedient to anybody or anything today. This morning, we had that reading from Colossians, Chapter 3, for the Feast of the Holy Family. And that passage reminds us that husbands are to love their wives, and wives are to be subordinate to their husbands, and children are to be obedient to their parents. We hear that reading, and for so many of us, we don’t want the priest to preach on it. It’s like, if we ignore it, maybe that reading will just go away. We’ve got to read it. It’s in the Bible. But please, let’s not make a big deal about it. And most priests and deacons are perfectly happy not to preach on that passage, because they are terrified to touch that one. It’s like obedience and subordinate are terrible, dirty words or concepts. We hear those words almost every year, and when we do, today, we bristle. So many times, we ask ourselves, how CAN we possibly be loving, or subordinate, or obedient, even to the person that I married to, and even to those in my own family, when we are all so flawed, so weak, and so undeserving of that kind of trust!
And yet, when Mary found how much we she could love God, and how much she could trust God, all of a sudden it became very easy for her to be obedient to Him. When you are in love with someone, it is a whole lot easier to be obedient to them. When you trust someone completely with your whole life, then too, it becomes ever so much easier to be obedient to them, even submissive to them, when you know that they are looking out for you, when they are taking care of you, and when in fact, they may know what is best for you! That’s what Mary came to realize about God! And so, Mary did trust, and obey, and was subordinate, and look what happened? God came alive inside of her! God came down from Heaven!
My brothers and sisters, this is amazing stuff. Just think for a minute what could happen if we, you and I, if we were more obedient to God? Or what if we were more trusting of God and His promises? Or what if we were more often subordinate to His Divine Will? Would God be able to do more with us? Absolutely! Absolutely! Mary is teaching us something really amazing with her part in the Incarnation. When we submit to God’s will, when we let God be in charge of our lives, and when we say “yes” to God, anything can happen! God can even come alive inside of us! We can trust in this God. We can obey Him. And we don’t have to ever be afraid that He is going to let us down!
The truth is today, God has got a better way for us! But we’ve got to trust that way. We’ve got to trust that God, and love Him! That’s how young Mary became the Mother of God. And that Faith, and that love, and that obedience is what bring us here today for this Feast Day!
Can you imagine how radically different our 2018 would be, or could be, if we only lived the same way? God is not asking us to re-write the book. And He certainly doesn’t want us running off on our own. He wants us to trust and obey. This year, let’s give Him the chance to prove to us, just what He can do. And like Mary, may we be amazed!
+ May God bless us on this Feast Day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us!