Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words.
8:15am The Villages
9:00am Gathering Hall*
9:30am Grange Hall
11:00am Gathering Hall*
12:30 Gathering Hall- Igbo, Every 2nd Sunday
2:00pm Chapel - Spanish 4:00pm Chapel-Vietnamese
6:00pm Chapel-Youth Mass, Young Adult mass every 4th Sunday
*- Children's Liturgy of the Word
Mon - Sat: 8:30am Chapel
Friday: 9:00am The Villages, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Only
Saturday: 4:00 pm Chapel Narthex or by Appointment
Mary, the Holy Mother of God
Fr. Matthew Stanley’s Homily
January 1, 2019
Today we celebrate the feast of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. This day has also been honored as a day of prayer for peace. And so, we begin this new year with many of the same hopes and dreams, fears and hesitations of years gone by.
In 431 A.D., at the Council of Ephesus, the Church gave her formal approval for the faithful to believe that Mary is the Mother of God. Now, that may not sound so controversial to our ears; however, it certainly was at the time (and it still ruffles the feathers of some today who feel that Catholics focus a little too much on the Blessed Mother).
Even at that late date, four hundred years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, people were still trying to “figure out” whether Jesus was divine or was simply a man, or whether Jesus was part of each or fully both.
And when I say “people” I mean even the most faithful and learned and respected people in the Christian community. People felt (and rightly so) that if they were going to give their lives over to this Jesus, then they should try to know and understand as much as they could about him. It was just that important.
The 21st century has clearly, thus far, been a time of upheaval and uncertainty in our country and in our world. But it has also had its moments of hope, of challenge, and of new possibilities. And this year will be no different.
Whether in our world or in our Church or in our families, we know that 2019 will call forth from us the best we have to offer, and will challenge us at difficult times to remain faithful to the vision of the gospel and the wisdom of the Church.
As we reflect on this feast, it becomes clear that mothers have often accomplished great deeds in the world because of the fierce love they have not only for their own children, but for all children.
They have been powerful forces for peace and justice in the world. Think of the efforts of a group like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or the determination of the mothers of the disappeared in South America. Mothers who leave family and country in search of a better life in lands of freedom and prosperity.
While we can admire these accomplishments in the affairs of the world, we also know in our own lives and in the lives of people we meet every day of how much mothers do to hold their families together, to keep their children fed and clothed, to help with grandchildren in the often-chaotic round of childcare, and the demands of two and three jobs in these challenging economic times.
There is no one model for a mother’s role in our society today, but the one constant is that whatever she does, she has the good of others as a top priority.
Mary understands all of this. She knew the deepest grace imaginable, the privilege of bearing the son of God. But she also knew the day-to-day joys and sorrows of raising her child to be all that he could be. And she continues to mother each one of us with that same strong and tender love.
And if you ever feel distressed during any day of this new year, pray the words that St. Teresa of Calcutta said had never failed her: “Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now.”