SATURDAY HOMILY: Ebuka! God is Great!
her role as the Mother of the Redeemer. This is why she is rightly called "Mother of Mercy." "His mercy is from age to age to those who fear Him" (St. Luke 1:50)
St. Bernardine of Siena summed up this maternal mediation of Mary in one succinct phrase: "Every grace that is communicated to this world has a threefold course. For by excellent order, it is dispensed from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, from the Virgin to us."
The Fathers of Vatican Council II further explained:
"The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no wise obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows His power. For all the salvific influence of the Blessed Virgin on men originates, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. In no way does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ" (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 60).
Ikem! God is my strength! Stabat Mater. The Mother stood at the foot of the Christ. All of hell's fury could not separate her from her Divine Son. "The Mighty One has done great things for me." (St. Luke 1:49)
Jioke! God is my leader! "He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
In his Apostolic Letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte, Blessed John Paul II exhorted all Christians to look upon the Holy Face of Jesus with new eyes! In the Marian complement to that letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, he invited us to "... to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ."
With the Psalmist let us cry out: "Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved!" Then with Holy Mary we too will worship our Great God and Beautiful Savior who always thinks of us, who knows our way, who has our Life, who is Mercy itself, and who is our strength and our King!
Postscript: The Nigerian mother of the octuplets was radiant with joy as she left the hospital on December 30, 1998. "When I saw them for the first time, I was so amazed at what God blessed me with," she told reporters. Sadly, the tiniest of the eight infants did not survive. Coincidentally, that child's name was Odera which means God has my life. The mother remained steadfast in her faith in God and said simply, "God brought her and he took her." Doctors had tried to persuade the Nigerian woman to selectively abort some of the fetuses in order to increase the chances of the survival of the others. "I wasn't even going to give it a second thought," was her response. Ebuka! God is great!
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: Fr. G. Peter Irving III, Holy Innocents Long Beach, Year of Faith, homilies, Magnificat
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