Friday, November 21, 2008

The Power of Yes.

November 21, 2008
Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Mass Readings:
Revelation 10:8-11
Luke 19:45-48

This morning we take a moment to reflect on the powerful ministry of our Blessed Mother. This celebration looks to an important even that happened in the year 543, the dedication of the New Basilica of Saint Mary that was built in the Old City of Jerusalem. That basilica is no longer in existence but it brings today to pause and reflect on the Virgin Mary. This weekend Ordinary Time comes to a close and we prepare to enter the Advent Season but first we celebrate the great feast of Christ the King. It is fitting that we pause today to remember Mary's great part in the plan of salvation for she bore the great King of our salvation.

There is no greater passage about our Blessed Mother than the Magnificat found in Luke's Gospel, chapter 1;46-55. Here we have Mary's beautiful response to the angel Gabriel after he reveals to Mary that she will be the mother of God's son. Mary is faced with an unbelievable blessing but also burden. The mind boggles at the immense task God entrusted to this young woman. What courage and faithfulness Mary shows by saying yes to God!

That brings me to my point this morning, the power of saying yes to God. I am often reminded by staff here at the parish that I need to say no a bit more often. I admit to trying to squeeze as many things into a 24 hour period as possible. Not healthy I admit. However, saying yes to yet another meeting is not what we see today. Today we look at the joy of saying yes to God! Nothing can give greater joy than to accept God's call to serve Him and His Church and Mary is THE example of saying yes to God.

Saying yes to God requires our willingness to set aside our own agendas and desires. Being open to God's call requires us to abandon self and strive to be pleasing to God. This does not mean that we walk away from our life and the people in it. It means we have to be willing to follow God wherever the call may lead. That may sound scary and uncertain and in a way I guess it is. However, God always promises that when we say yes, he is always faithful and will not in any way shape or form abandon us. To say yes to God is to accept a share in the ministry of Jesus himself. That acceptance of God's call may not include fortune or fame but it does promise the joy of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus, the great gift of salvation and the promise of eternity with God. Mary understood that and her saying yes to God transformed the world.

The Maginificat is second only to the great prayer that Jesus gave to us, the Our Father. Let us pray together that glorious yes of Mary;

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Praise be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! Amen!