Thursday May 31, 2018

For the Leahy family:

Blessed Mother, we pray you take our intentions and lay them at the throne of all Graces. Intercede on our behalf at the feet of our Triune God. We ask that our prayers be heard and answered according to Their will.
(State your intention…follow with):  We ask you to  heal the divisions in the Leahy family and allow Andy to attend the funeral Mass of his son Chris.
(1) Our Father
(3) Hail Mary’s
(1) Glory Be

Today in the Catholic church is the Feast of the Visitation.  In reading the Gospel, two thoughts come to mind.  First, I will always think of the relationship between my wife and her cousin Teresa when I hear this Gospel proclaimed.  They have always been very close to each other and their relationship mirrors the one read in the Gospel today.  The second thought is why other faith’s struggle with the Catholic church’s respect for our Blessed Mother.  Over the years, I have developed a very deep respect and love for our Blessed Mother and her close relationship with the Trinity.  It was God who chose her, it was the Holy Spirit who planted God’s seed in her and it was Jesus she bore.  In that thought, we hear proclaimed from Elizabeth in today’s Gospel

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Earlier in Luke, we hear proclaimed from the Angel Gabriel “Hail, full of Grace, the Lord is with you.” (LK 1:28)

So putting the two passages together (with a slight adaptation adding the word Mary), we have

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed your womb, Jesus.

That is straight from scripture.  In 1555, the petition Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and the hour of our death, was added (by St. Petrus Canisius) to give us what we pray today as the Hail Mary (or in Latin, Ave Maria).

So, let’s put it all together…

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Why the confusion?  Why the controversy?  The Catholic Church does not worship Mary because only God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are deserving of being worshiped.  But because we as Catholic’s don’t worship Mary doesn’t mean we don’t love her, venerate her and ask for her intercession.  Let’s go back to Luke again…

46 And Mary said,

Mary’s Song of Praise

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 1.46-55 The Magnificat is based on the Song of Hannah (1 Sam 2.1-10), and other Old Testament passages that describe God’s favor toward Israel and especially toward the poor and lowly.

  Again, straight out of Luke…Henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed. LK 1:48.

So, let’s do something great for our Lord today, let’s pray the Rosary (Luminous Mysteries) and really think about the Hail Mary as you recite it – a prayer based on scripture and tradition.  If you have time, through in the Joyful mysteries and think about our feast we celebrate today – The Visitation.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid.

Jesus, I trust in You.

 

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