Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Fourth Sunday after Easter—14 May AD 2017
Ave Maria!

“Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.”[1]

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English

    That may well be my favorite biblical passage—it says so much about the false religions with imperfect and changeable gods—and so much about modernism with its doctrines and morals flapping in the wind.  But today, instead of talking about the vicissitudes of non‑Catholics, we have three very precious gifts to acknowledge.  Today is Mother's Day, and May is the Month of Mary the Mother of God and our Mother, and today we have two young ladies who will receive Jesus Christ for the first time in Holy Communion.

    In its most complete form, motherhood includes carrying a child or children for the better part of a year before giving birth in some degree of pain, seeing to the children's physical, spiritual, and emotional needs over a number of years, as the child slowly progresses from helplessness to self-reliance.  That may sound relatively simple in theory, but it is always more difficult in practice.  The reward is altruistic more than it is self-gratifying—the family is the building block of civilization—successful parenting will turn out productive members of civil society and men and women who will become saints within the society of the Church.

    Generally speaking, this success depends more on the mother than on the father—and sometimes it may depend entirely upon her.  Yet, on Mother's Day it would be wrong to ignore the contributions of those who take up the slack if mother proves to be unable or unwilling—grand-parents, aunts, sisters, and even older children sometimes generously step in to fill the gaps.  The list will usually include fathers, and sometimes uncles and brothers.  We should thank God for the great gift He has given us in our mothers and in any others who made our growing up possible.  Today is a good day to show our appreciation—and if they are no longer with us, to offer heartfelt prayers to God for their eternal well-being.  Go see Mom if at all possible today!

    May is the Month of Mary, the Mother of God.  We talked about that last week, and the sermon is online if you missed it.  Today we will speak about her being our own Mother.

    When Jesus was dying on the Cross, He called out to His Mother and to Saint John:  “‘Woman, behold thy son.’ After that, he saith to the disciple: ‘Behold thy mother.’ And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.”[2]  Some of this was practical, for Jesus had no brothers or sisters to look after Mary after His death—but it is universally understood that Jesus chose John to represent all Christians if not the entire human race.  He gave us Mary to be our Mother, and we to be her sons and daughters.

    When I was a child I was frightened by the “things that go bump in the night,” and the shadows that moved across the walls.  I would call out for my parents.  But one night my father answered my cries, and explained to me that Mary was the Mother of all children and that she would keep me safe—particularly from anything evil.  It was easy to fall asleep with a “Hail, Mary” or two on my lips after that night.

    Years later, I was faced with the difficulties of philosophy and theology (I had always favored the natural sciences in school)—and I was faced with the complexity of learning enough Latin to pray the Mass and the Office.  Again, I called upon Mary, asking her help and promising to be her son.  Without her, I would be utterly unable to stand here before you and before the altar—without her, there could be no Mass and no sermon.

    Everyone needs Mary!  But this should not be one sided.  We all owe her a debt—a debt to be paid with prayer and the Sacraments—with good works done freely in her name—by introducing her and her Rosary to those who don’t know her.

    Finally, a great gift will come down to us today from the “Father of lights” as His Son Jesus Christ comes down to rest upon our altar under the appearances of bread and wine.  Body and soul, humanity and divinity—great God Almighty will humble Himself to appear as a small white round of bread.  God Himself will take pleasure, for Kaitlyn and Samantha, whom He has always loved, will be united with Him in Holy Communion.  We give thanks for our First-Communicants, and for God’s generosity.  We pray that this First-Communion will be but the beginning of a life-long union with God.

    Now, if there is anyone who has been avoiding Holy Communion for any reason, this would be an auspicious day to return to God’s graces and His love.  I’ll be happy to hear confessions again after Mass if anyone but asks—and God will be pleased to give Himself in Holy Communion immediately thereafter.

    We have a great deal to rejoice in—the gift of our own mothers; the gift of Mary as our Mother; and the mutual gift exchanged between God and our Communicants.  God bless you Samantha and Kaitlyn—and God bless all of His sons and daughters.  And let us never lose sight of the source of these gifts:

“Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.”



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