Monday, August 20, 2007

Hail Mary! and bless Archbishop Kurtz!

August 15, 2007
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Mass during the Day
Mass Readings:
Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Luke 1:39-56

Today we celebrate the Assumption of our Blessed Mother. So great is her place that Jesus took her body and soul to the glory of Heaven before the corruption of death could touch her body! Hallelujah! What a glorious day this is in our life of faith. For not only do we celebrate the First Disciple, the Blessed Mother, but also the feast day for our cathedral and the instillation of Archbishop Joseph Kurtz! It's a full day so fasten your seat belts because Louisville is alive and kicking! I might also add that today is also the 30 anniversary for Archbishop Kelly's ordination as bishop. A full day indeed.

I must note that Archbishop Kelly ordained me and I give him a great round of thanks this day. He has been a loving father to me and I am very grateful for his leadership and kindness.

On this feast day we look to the great example of our Blessed Mother. Mary was just a young woman, a teenager when she was asked to be the mother of our Lord. Her "yes" to God would open the door to salvation!

Can you imagine what it must have been like for Mary? This young woman, approached by an angel and given the task of giving birth to the son of God must have been terrified! I have always wondered about all of the paintings and movies that display our Blessed Mother as this stoic young woman who hardly flinches when approached by God. I would dare say that her reaction was one of confusion, terror and stress! How could she not have been distressed? However, she said yes! Her trust in God was stronger than her emotions and concerns and would guide her to be the first disciple. How blessed we are that Mary was strong in her faith and would do her all to follow God.

This brings me to what I believe all of our Marian feast days call us to do. I believe that every time we celebrate our Blessed Mother we are called to examine how each and every one of us say yes to God. Or for that matter, do we even say yes to God? Do we follow the example of the Blessed Mother and follow God with sheer abandon?

Each and every one of us is called to be a faithful disciple. Each and every one of us is given a mission by God. Each of us is asked to say yes to God. Do we? Do we follow the example of Mary by putting God's call ahead of the desire for wealth, fame or power? Do we humble ourselves so that we may serve for the good of God's Kingdom? Do we set aside our own selfish desires so that we may have full life in Christ?

May we each learn from our Blessed Mother. Mary was the first disciple, the Queen of the Apostles and she is our model of faith today. May we find the same joy in serving the Lord as our Mother Mary.

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly."