A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – CYCLE “C” – 1/1/16 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
We get used to hearing the word “no” many times in our lifetimes. We first learn “no” from our parents. “No, don’t touch that!” “No, don’t put that in your mouth.” “No, you can’t stay up to midnight.” And then it doesn’t take very long for us realize that so much of the time, the world is telling us “No.”. Can I drive over the speed limit? No. Can I skip school and cut classes any time that I want? No. Can I spend more money than I am worth? Well, you might get away with it for a while, but ultimately, No! Sometimes it seems, like we hear “No” all the time. No, you can’t have that time off. No, you can’t send that through the mail. No, you can’t wear that to church! We hear “No” so much, that pretty soon we start saying it too. No, becomes our standard response! Can you volunteer to help out with this at work? NO! Can you give to this worthy cause? NO! Can you take your kids to the movie? NO! Can you help shovel snow for an elderly neighbor? NO! “No” becomes our standard answer. Sometimes we say “no” and don’t even realize it. It has become that automatic. And when we say, “We’ll see, what we really mean is “no”, so we can say “no” without really having to say the word! “We’ll see” is grown-up speak for, “That is never going to happen.” Kids learn this early on. By the age of 5, kids know that a grown-up says, “We’ll see”, and it is probably never going to happen.
This Feast Day of Mary, Mother of God, invites all of us to re-think our use of the word “no”. This beautiful scene that is depicted for us today, of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, in the stable, has been depicted for us thousands of times on Christmas cards, and paintings, and nativity sets. We know this image. It is the scene that Christmas is all about! And yet, we also know, that without Mary’s “yes” just a few months before, that the Nativity scene, that we so love and venerate, would NOT be taking place. Mary had to say “yes” before all of this could happen. Mary’s fiat, not her little Italian car, but her submission to the will of God, her acceptance of God’s will in her life, is extremely important to this story. If Mary hadn’t said “yes”, we might not be here today! That’s how powerful Mary’s “yes” was!
Our God has always done great things when people say “yes”. Things that people never would have imagined happening, happened because so many times someone said “yes”, someone obeyed God’s will and accepted His, God’s, plan. I think that on this Feast Day, this is so important for us to remember! Certainly, also, as we begin a New Year tonight, that if we really want to make 2016 “A year of our Lord”, than we’ve got to be able to say “yes” to God’s holy will for each one of us and for our world. You know, we can be very good at saying “no” to God also. No, God, I won’t do that. No, God, I don’t trust you enough to do this. No, God, I don’t want to have to change my plans. No, God I don’t have time. Don’t you think that God thinks that that last one is hysterical? Telling God Who is in charge of all of our time, that we don’t have time to do something, must just crack Him up.
It’s time that we tried saying “yes” to God. Mary said “yes” and look at what happened? God came alive inside of her! We can’t begin to imagine the great things that God wants to do with all of us, IF, IF we would only say “yes”.
2016 is going to be an amazing year. We will go farther in this New Year by saying “yes”, rather than saying “no”. Obedience to God’s Will does amazing things. Like Mary, let us be obedient, and let us say “yes” with all our hearts to everything that God has planned for us. We need to break our habit of just saying “no”. “No” doesn’t allow anything to happen. And we can’t be saying “We’ll see” to God either. God knows what that means too. Like Mary, let us say “yes” to all that God calls us to be a part of!
+ May God bless us in this New Year, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!