Friday, March 25, 2011

Daily Lenten inspiration, March 25, 2011 (Friday of the Second Week of Lent)

Transcript of homily recorded on Friday, March 25, 2011

By Father Tim McGowan

Now, I was never good at math, but according to my count — and I could be wrong — but I have counted 11 images of Mary in this church, not counting the stained-glass windows. And her statues and her depictions normally radiate sweetness. She's always young, in the back there. Pink cheeks. Slender. Beautifully dressed, robed in all kinds of lovely garments, cascading down. But as lovely as these depictions are, they're inconsistent with the Mary of the Gospel. She's not pictured that way here.

Mary of the Gospel is neither a fairy tale princess or a romanticized, lovely lady dressed in blue. The flesh-and-blood Mary was altogether real and altogether human. She was a human woman. She was a pregnant adolescent who was painfully misunderstood by the man that she was engaged to marry and whom she loved. She was a frantic parent, searching for her lost child in a big city. She was a caring woman who was not afraid to speak her mind or voice her questions. She was an anguished mother who stood stoically at Calvary's hill and watched her innocent son be executed.

The figure venerated in the beautiful depictions of art and statuary in our church is a woman whose feet were planted firmly on the ground, on the earth. Mary of Nazareth knew the pain that only a mother could feel. She knew the joy that only the humble, the selfless, and the giving woman of faith, could experience.

In today's Gospel, we hear Mary — uneducated, adolescent girl that she was, living in a small, occupied country — change the entire world with her simple ascent: "Let it be done to me according to thy word." Mary, the young, unmarried, pregnant girl, can believe the incredible event that she is about to be a part of. And if she can, ordinary people like us can believe our parts as well. We all have a part to play. And Mary is the perfect model of discipleship. She is the perfect symbol of our salvation. She is the promise of what the church is called to be and one day will become. She is the model Christian, open to God's will and word in her life, even when those circumstances seem painful and confusing. She is the hope; she is the comfort of the pilgrim people. She is the foretaste and the promise of what we shall all be.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments that are derogatory, attack others or are offensive in nature may be removed. We reserve the right to remove any offensive or off-topic remark.