Monsignor Yennock on The Solemnity of Mary

Jan 4, 2016

SOLEMNITY OF MARY

JANUARY 1, 2016

 

AND MARY KEPT ALL THESE THINGS, REFLECTING ON THEM IN HER HEART. (Luke 2:18)

FROM NAZARETH TO BETHLEHEM; FROM EGYPT BACK TO NAZARETH; FROM GALILEA TO JERUSALEM AND THE CROSS OF CALVARY, MARY HAD MUCH TO REFLECT UPON IN HER HEART, AND SO DO WE.

DURING THESE DAYS OF WONDER AND AWE AS WE RELIVE THE PROFOUND MYSTERY OF GOD’S PLAN FOR US WE DO NOT WANT TO MISS THE MYSTERY.

WHEN YOU LOOK INTO THE MANGER WHAT DO YOU SEE? IF YOU SEE ONLY A CUTE LITTLE BABY AND NOTHING MORE, YOUR ARE MISSING A PROFOUND MYSTERY.

DEVOTION TO THE INFANT IS A REWARDING EXERCISE IN HUMILITY AND FAITH BUT WE WOULD MAKE A HUGE MISTAKE I WE SAW ONLY ONE MORE ADDITION TO THE HUMAN RACE.

YOU AND I FIND THE MANGER SCENE A PEACEFUL AND COMFORTABLE PLACE TO BE. A MOTHER AND A BABY DO NOT THREATEN ANYONE; NEITHER DO THEY CHALLENGE ANYONE.

THE DANGER OF BEING LOST IN THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE MANGER SCENE IS THAT WE MIGHT WANT TO FORGET EVERYTHING BETWEEN BETHLEHEM AND THE HILL OF THE ASCENSION.

REMEMBERING THE CROSS OF CALVARY BREAKS OUR HYPNOTIC SPELL AND MAKES US UNCOMFORTABLE.

THE ENEMIES OF CHRIST DO ONE OF TWO THINGS: THEY EITHER IGNORE HIM COMPLETELY OR THEY PRESENT HIM AS A WEAK DO GOODER WHO NEVER REMINDS US OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR ACTIONS AND NEVER CHALLENGES US TO LEAD A HEROIC LIFE OF SACRIFICE AND SERVICE.

MARY HAD A LOT OF TIME TO REFLECT ON THIS CHILD. WHAT SHE SAW WAS THE MYSTERY OF GOD IN HUMAN FLESH. WHILE EVERYONE ELSE MIGHT HAVE SEEN ONLY A HUMAN BABY SHE KNEW ABOUT THE SPARK OF DIVINITY THAT WAS HIDDEN IN HER INFANT SON. SHE KNEW THAT THERE WAS MORE THAN FLESH AND BLOOD IN THE CRADLE.

SHE REMEMBERED THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS; SHE COULD NEVER FORGET THE GREETING OF THE ANGEL GABRIEL AND THE VISIT TO HER COUSIN ELIZABETH; SHE CRINGED WHEN SHE THOUGHT OF THE WARNINGS OF SIMEON IN THE TEMPLE.

30 YEARS LATER WHEN JESUS OF NAZARETH BEGAN HIS PUBLIC LIFE HIS MOTHER WITNESSED THE DIVINITY EMERGE. SHE HEARD ABOUT THE TIME HE CALMED THE SEA AND SILENCED THE WIND. SHE HEARD ABOUT THE MUTE WHO COULD SPEAK AND THE DEAF MAN WHO COULD HEAR AGAIN BY HIS POWER.

THEY TOLD HER THAT THEY SAW PARALIZED LIMBS WALK AND DANCE. SHE WAS CONVINCED THAT HER SON WAS MORE THAN A MAN WHEN RUMORS TRAVELLED ABOUT THAT DEAD PEOPLE CAME BACK TO LIFE WITH JUST A WORD AND A GESTURE FROM HIM. HE DID NOT HIDE HIS DIVINITY WHEN HE FED THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WITH A FEW PIECES OF FISH AND BREAD.

HIS MOTHER PAID ATTENTION WHEN HE SAID: “ALL AUTHORITY IS GIVEN TO ME IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH”. SHE WAS NOT DEAF TO HIS WORDS WHEN HE CONFRONTED A POLITICIAN WITH: “YOU WOULD HAVE NO AUTHORITY UNLESS IT WAS GIVEN TO YOU FROM ABOVE”.

MARY LOOKED AROUND TO SEE THE EFFECT HE HAD ON HIS FOLLOWERS WHEN HE SAID: “I HAVE COME TO LIGHT A FIRE AND WHAT WILL I BUT THAT IT BE ENKINDLED?”

IN HER MIND SHE COULD SEE THE FLAME THAT WOULD BURN AWAY THE DRY ROT OF AGNOSTICISM AND THE IMPOTENCY OF ATHEISM IN THE WORLD.

SHE KNIT HER BROW WHEN SHE HEARD HIM SAY: “I HAVE COME NOT WITH PEACE BUT WITH A SWORD. HE WAS TALKING ABOUT THE SWORD THAT WOULD CUT AWAY THE ROTTEN DECAY OF RELIGIOUS INDIFFERENCE AND THE COWARDICE THAT MAKES MEN SILENT IN THE FACE OF PUBLIC BLASPHEMY AGAINST HIS FATHER.

WHEN WE LOOK AT THE INFANT OF PRAGUE WITH A CROWN ON HIS HEAD AND THE WORLD IN HIS HAND, IT MAY LOOK LIKE A SENTIMENTAL DEVOTION. BUT IT IS A REMINDER OF THE CHRIST WHO SAID TO PILATE: “I AM A KING”. “MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD.”

THE CROWNED INFANT IS A SIGN OF THE JEALOUS CHRIST WHO WILL NOT BE LEFT OUT OF THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MARRIAGE, CHILDBEARING, EDUCATION, POLITICAL THEORY, SOCIAL SCIENCES AND RELIGION. HE IS A KING WHO RULES THE UNIVERSE AND CHALLENGES MEN TO LIVE A LIFE OF VIRTUE AND SERVICE.

THE MOTHER OF JESUS HEARD ABOUT HIS INVITATION TO ALL MEN AND WOMEN WHEN HE SAID: “WHO BELIEVES WILL BE SAVED, WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE WILL BE CONDEMNED.”

SHE KNEW IT WAS GOD IN JESUS WHO SAID: “LET THE LITTLE CHILDREN COME TO ME. DO NOT PREVENT THEM OR THE VERY STONES WILL CRY OUT”.

AND MARY KEPT ALL THESE THINGS AND REFLECTED UPON THEM IN HER HEART.

AS WE BEGIN 2016, THE NEW YEAR OF OUR LORD, WE STAND BESIDE MARY AND REFLECT ON THE UNIVERSE BEYOND THE GALAXY OF OUR MILKY WAY. WE REFLECT UPON THE 500 BILLION GALAXIES; THE 40 BILLION SUNS; THE 200 BILLION STARS.

OH GOD HOW GREAT THOU ART!