SATURDAY HOMILY: Mary will help us live well this Year of Faith
Faith may we boldly set out on a journey of faith "that is never completely finished in this life." And in turn, may we be used by God to bring those whose faith is weak and those who have no faith at all to be led "out of the desert, towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God, towards the One who gives us life, and life in abundance." ("Porta Fidei," 2)
In our day when it appears that the influence of Christianity in the lives of men and women is growing faint and more and more people have no room for God in their lives, Mary, the "Woman of Faith," who "magnified the Lord" in her marvelous canticle of praise will come to our aid. In a homily Pope Benedict gave on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he stated: "But when God disappears, men and women do not become greater; indeed, they lose the divine dignity, their faces lose God's splendor. In the end, they turn out to be merely products of a blind evolution and, as such, can be used and abused. This is precisely what the experience of our epoch has confirmed for us. Only if God is great is humankind also great. With Mary, we must begin to understand that this is so. We must not drift away from God but make God present; we must ensure that he is great in our lives. Thus, we too will become divine; all the splendor of the divine dignity will then be ours. Let us apply this to our own lives." (Homily, August 15, 2005)
A saint of our times, St. Josemaria Escriva, was fond of saying, "Omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam" (All with Peter to Jesus through Mary). May I suggest that we make these words our own. May all of us respond enthusiastically to the invitation of the Successor of St. Peter to deepen our friendship with Christ through the mediation of our Mother Mary, "excellent exemplar of faith and charity."
Fr. G. Peter Irving III is a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is pastor of Holy Innocents Church, Long Beach, California
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: homily, year of faith, Our Lady, Blessed Virgin Mary, Porta Fidei, Benedict XVI, Fr. G. Peter Irving III, Holy Innocents Long Beach
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