Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Homily Immaculate Conception 2009

Mount Saint Mary’s University and Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland,
has operated the National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes since 1875.
On the grounds of the grotto is a 120 foot tall tower and gold-leafed statue
of the Virgin Mary.
Illuminated by giant flood-lights,
the statue can be seen from a distance even at night.

Over the hill behind the university campus is the presidential retreat at Camp David.

When, for financial reasons,
the university could not afford to light up the statue of Mary,
the bill was promptly picked up by the Federal Government.

For years now, Mary – gold-leafed and shining brightly –
has provided a landmark for pilots
on the approach to the airstrip at Camp David.

Mary shows the way, safely, through the darkness, to the intended destination.

In the beginning of God’s plan for the universe,
man and woman were perfectly in harmony with one another and with God.

They served God with complete fidelity
and enjoyed with pure intentions the abundance of His blessings.

That perfect harmony and worship was shattered in the moment of the original sin.

Rather than receiving the abundant gifts God showered upon them in the Garden,
Adam grasped at the fruit of the tree God had said was not good for man.
In sharing the fruit of the tree with Eve,
he brought her to share in his disobedience.

This first great act of selfishness,
this grasping at what we desire rather than receiving God’s will
is mankind’s original turning away from God: the original sin.

Adam and Eve’s turning away from the will of God
has left all mankind in the grip of a tendency toward sin.
From the moment of the original sin,
mankind has wandered without clarity of purpose,
struggling to re-discover our identity
and being pulled in opposition directions
by the whims of the world and our own desires.

The Incarnation of the Son of God is a new beginning for mankind,
and the initiation of the divine process of restoration for the whole world.

For this moment, the Virgin Mary was prepared by God in a unique way.
The Immaculate Conception of Mary was God’s plan
to preserve her from the contamination of original sin
as a worthy vessel for the incarnation of Jesus.

In the moment of the angel’s appearance,
Mary humbly submits herself as the handmaid of the Lord
and accepts the will of God for her life.

The Gospel story for today reveals that
our Blessed Mother is perfectly in harmony as a human person.
Her desires are ordered to a holy purpose, her life is focused on Christ,
her will is in tune with the divine will, and her first love is the Lord.

Mary s the life of the human person before the original sin, as God intended:
worship of God, love for others, and the pure use of God’s gifts.

Sin remains a reality for us, and we are all struggling to follow God’s our purpose...and return to the truth

In uncertainty, sadness, temptation…Mary lights the way!
She shows us how to live and how to pray:
“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”

With these words and with her whole life…like a gleaming, towering image…
Mary shows us the way, safely, through the darkness and troubles of life,
to the destination which perfectly fulfills the heart of every human person.
That destination is Jesus Christ.

In Jesus Christ, and with our lives finally consumed by love for Him,
we shall find the magnificence of what God has designed for our happiness
and the fulfillment of our human existence.

We find it all in Jesus Christ...
and it is Mary who shows us the way!

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