The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Friday, December 31, 2010

01 January, 2011 - Holy Mary, Mother of God

Faith in God!

Belief in God’s promises. The happiness and the blessedness of all those who believe in the Word of God runs right throughout the whole of the old and new testaments.

In fact the main purpose of Jesus preaching was to increase the faith of people in God.

When we look at the testimony of Holy Scripture we see that great and wonderful things happened to those who believed.

For example. Look at Abraham. Abraham is the Old Testament model of faith.
At the word of God, Abraham left home, he left his family, he left his country even and set out for a land he had never seen.

The only compass he had was his faith in God’s promise.
Abraham had faith in what God told him. God blessed Abraham and rewarded his faith by making him the father of a great people.
In the New Testament we see Mary as our model of faith.

Through God’s messenger, the angel, God spoke to Mary also.
God proposed that the Virgin Mary become the Mother of His only begotten Son, Jesus.

At the Annunciation Mary said “Yes” to what God was asking of her.
Mary’s “Yes” involved a huge leap of faith.

Mary didn’t know for sure the full implications of what she was agreeing to.
She had no idea that at the birth of her son every door would be closed in her face. She did not know that there would be no room for her anywhere except at a lowly stable.
She had no inkling that shortly after Jesus’ birth she would be a refugee in a foreign country.

She did not know that some thirty three years later she would see her beloved son executed in front of her eyes as a common criminal.
She only knew that this is what God asked of her. This was God’s plan for her.
She only needed to say yes. And she did so, without hesitation.
And so, many, many times during her life she had to confirm that original “Yes”.

But in spite of all these trials and tribulations Mary’s faith never wavered.
At the same time she was not afraid to ask questions. You see, Mary’s faith is not blind faith.
When Mary didn’t understand something, she pondered it in her heart until she did understand it.

Mary was the first person to receive the gift of faith in Jesus. Yes, the gift of faith because faith is a gift. A gift that must be assented to in order to be opened.
Elizabeth, her cousin, declared her “Blessed”.

The cause of her blessedness was because of her great faith.
Elizabeth tells us “Blessed is she who believed, who believed that the promise made to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
Faith gives our lives meaning. Faith fills our lives to the brim with things, without which our lives would not have meaning.

Still to have faith is not to have all the answers. It doesn’t mean all the work is done for us.
On the contrary, the opposite is nearer to the truth. When we accept the gift of faith it often means more work for us.
Faith commits us to a life of searching. But at the end of the day, we have to bow to mystery. We have to accept God at His word.
And having faith doesn’t necessarily make our lives easier either because Faith is not a magic wand.
In fact the opposite is again true. It is because we have faith that we refuse to give up.
Having faith enables us to persevere, to struggle on.
Having faith is not simply a matter of believing but rather believing and then acting on that belief.

It is a question of hearing the word of God and doing it – taking risks on it and making sacrifices, going the extra mile because of it.

We have as our best example, Mary the Mother of God. The church proposes that Mary is our best example of faith.
Mary is blessed because she not only believed but also acted on that belief.
And because she acted on that belief we have a Saviour born to us and He is Christ the Lord.
Mary said “Let it be done according to Thy Word”.

We need to say the same. “Father, let it be done to me according to Your will, not mine”
That’s exactly what we say each time we pray the Lord’s prayer – the Our Father –

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” - Do we really mean it or have those words become - just words.

We need to think about what we pray. Like our mother Mary we need to really mean what we say – because only then will our actions bear fruit.

Our actions then are based on our belief in God and His promises. We have faith in God. We believe.

Mary was the first and most perfect disciple of Jesus. That is why the church proposes her as a model for the rest of us.
Today we are celebrating this feast. The Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God.

For her holiness consisted in hearing the word of God, believing it and doing it.
We too will become holy if we, like Mary, hear the word of God, believe it and act on it.

Mary, the Holy Mother of God.
What is a Mother?
A mother is a constant source of blessing and protection.

She is our strength in weakness, our consolation in sorrow, and our hope in misery.
Everything in nature speaks of a mother.
The sun is the mother of the earth, nourishing it with light and heat.

It never leaves at night until it has put everything to sleep, to the songs of the birds and the brooks.
The earth, in its turn, is mother to the trees and flowers.
And the trees in their turn become mothers of their fruits and seeds.
Mary is the Mother of God but she is our Mother too, Our spiritual mother.
As we open a new year, Let us close the old with a prayer to our Mother, Mary the Mother of God and our Mother too.

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.
Our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And, after this, our exile, show unto us the fruits of thy womb, Jesus.
O Clement , O Loving, O sweet virgin Mary.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God !

That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Happy New Year to all!
Deacon Bernie Ouellette

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