Friday, August 15, 2008

Feast of the Assumption - homily

1) Hope you can join us tonight at SAA Church for the following:
- 7:00 Eucharistic Adoration
- 7:30 Mass for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- 8:15 (+/-) Adoration resumes after Mass; talk on “Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory” (Part I) + Benediction.

2) Today is a HDO (Holy Day of Obligation).
Everything that we have is from God. Everything in our lives – our family, personal gifts, friends, all the good things that happen to us each day – everything is from God. It is so refreshing to meet people who think and act this way. It is so refreshing to meet people who are models of humility. It is great to see people who don’t take themselves too seriously, are honest about their gifts, and that God is the source and giver of their gifts. I enjoy seeing models…of humility.

How much more refreshing is it to see Mary who is a supermodel of humility. Mary was given such an important role in the history of mankind – mother of the Savior. She even acknowledged that “from this day all generations will call me blessed”. She has this huge role as mother of the Savior, and yet she is totally humble, basically telling us that ‘it’s about God, people, it’s not about me’.

She says in today’s Gospel that “the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name”. This is the sign of true humility: to acknowledge that you have gifts and that God is the giver of those gifts. “Great things” was used in the Old Testament for God’s special gifts of love. So, Mary is not only glorifying God, she is teaching about God and his love. She reminds us a few times about God’s “mercy”; again, it’s a reminder of God’s love and how He has been faithful to his people.

Mary identifies herself as a “lowly servant”. She considers herself among the “poor and lowly ones” from the Old Testament. Those who are poor and lowly can identify, then, with this Gospel canticle. They can identify with her. The poor acknowledge that God is the source of all that they have – again, this is true humility. We can learn from the poor because sometimes, in a first world country such as ours, we can take credit for what God has given us, which is pride.

So, on this feast of Mary’s Assumption, body and soul, into Heaven, we celebrate her humility as much as anything. She is exalted for her humility, as Jesus promised: “those who humble themselves will be exalted”. We celebrate her entry into heavenly glory.

Finally, Mary reminds us who come to this Eucharist that God “fills the hungry with good things”. We are hungry for the good things of God, especially the Eucharist. We are hungry for God’s special acts of love. May we will carry Jesus with us out from her imitate Mary who carried Jesus with her to see Elizabeth. May each of us imitate her humility and acknowledge that “the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name”.


At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a while now we have been talking about forgiveness, it is something that is really hard for me at times. When I find myself in the midst of unforgiveness and refusing to give others a second chance or even beating myself up for something I have done, I always read the following from Matthew's gospel:

"When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed,
and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

It is a little harsh but it is a kick in the rear end for me. Maybe this will help someone else.

At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father, can you post your talks that you have been giving at Adoration for those of us who aren't able to be there so we can maybe get something out of them?

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the talk from last night-
those in purgatory are those who died in the state of grace but who are not yet “cleansed” enough for Heaven. When we are sorry and confess our sins, God forgives us, but the damage to our soul remains even after we are forgiven. But, penance is an act of atonement and a means by which to repair our soul. Prayer and sacrifice are also way to right our wrongs, aren’t they? So, is it possible that some completely atone for their sins here on earth?

At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:20 Anon;

I think it is possible, basically because I believe with Christ all things are possible. We have to also realize because we are imperfect our contrition, while genuine, is imperfect as well and so to is our penance and our desires, however noble are disordered. So, I guess what I am saying is, I think it is possible but improbable. Personally, though it will be rough, I thank God for the opportunity of Purgatory, of course I would rather be able to get to heaven right at the end of my life but I know I have things I hang on to and I know for me my contrition and penance no matter how much I mean it isn't perfect because I am imperfect.

I probably just confused you more. Sorry!


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