Without Sin: Homily for Assumption of Mary, August 15, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today (Vigil Mass)

Readings for Today (Mass during the day)

There are moments when we might wish to have lived in a different time.  How many have longed to be alive in the time of Jesus? How many seek to live during the time of our favorite saint? When we think this way, we forget that regardless of when we live, the mission is always to follow Jesus.  We must see how Jesus is alive.  We must seek God in all things. It does not matter when we live, but what we do.

Where is God in your life? How does God call you to holiness? What is it that gives life? We live during the present age because God wants us to.  And because God wants us to, God also gives us all the grace we need.  Becuase Mary knew this and remained close to God, she was rewarded by God with the immediate presence.  She did not have to wait for death but rather went right to God.


Homily for Friday, August 15, 2014

Readings for Today

When it comes to vocations, there is a tendency in the Church to use this word only in terms of priesthood and religious life.  And while these types of vocations are important to the life of the Church, the majority of people are going to be married, and as a result, it is important for us to focus upon the importance of the universal call to holiness.  We all have a vocation, and we are all called to live this vocation fully.  Every person who responds wholeheartedly to God does something that is beyond measure in the eyes of God.

And so, given that we are celebrating today the Feast of the Assumption, I thought it appropriate to reflect a little upon the powerful vocation of motherhood.  The readings last night at the Vigil served to remind us that motherhood is more than the physical reality of giving birth to a child.  What is that greater reality?

At the core of any vocation is the will of God.  When we seek to find and discern God’s will in our lives, we learn the beauty of God’s will.  While God may lead us where we do not want to go, God always does those things which will ultimately lead us to our greatest fulfillment.  In the person of Mary, we learn that when someone finds this holiness of God’s will, they become radiant.  It is not simply a task that can be checked off a list, but rather it is a becoming where we learn who we are most completely.

We learn this because of the words of Mary, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” From the deepest recesses of Mary, in her very soul, her openness to God cannot help but shout out just how good God is.  This is not small thing.  “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”  Not only is there radiance, there is joy, as Mary cannot help but rejoice in God.  This is all because of God’s favor, God’s grace, which God has poured out not only on Mary, but indeed upon each one of us.

From the example of Mary, then, we learn that motherhood bears fruit when it is grounded in a deep and personal relationship with the Lord.  This relationship is not only a personal one, however, as the community of faith, and indeed the Church universal has a significant and necessary role in faith.

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Homily for Assumption 2014 (Vigil)

Readings for Vigil

At first glance in today’s gospel, it may appear that Jesus is putting his mother down, not affording her a great deal of respect. But the reality is, I think, something quite different. Rather than disrespect for his mother, Jesus is reminding us all of what it means to be a mother.

Motherhood can be thought of in its physical dimensions, in the sense that a woman is a mother when she gives birth to a child. However, we know there is more to human motherhood than simply giving birth. There are far too many mothers and fathers who have the physical ability to make a child or to give birth, but do nothing else.

No, the point Jesus is trying to make is that authentic parenthood is more than physical, and is rather the authentic living out of a vocation given by God. It is the doing of God’s will that makes for true motherhood.

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