-Homily October 11, 2015
is the month of the Rosary… I thought it could be helpful to remember that the
Hail Mary, the prayer we repeat for more than fifty times each time we pray the
Rosary, comes from the Bible.
Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.” The first words come from the
greeting of the Angel Gabriel to Mary when he comes to announce the birth of
our Lord. “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of
Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph,
of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and
said, "Hail, full of grace, the
Lord is with you!"” (Luke
1:26-28). These words are the words of an Angel, coming with a message from God
himself. We speak to our Lady with the words of God.
art Thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb.” Mary visits her
cousin Elizabeth. “When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe (John
the Baptist) leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed
are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!"” (Luke 1:41-42). She addressed our Lady
with words inspired by the Holy Spirit. These are the words we use every day to
address our Mother! Mary herself had said, filled with the Holy Spirit: “All
generations will call me blessed” (Luke
Jesus is the center of the Hail Mary! The reason we love Mary is Jesus!
Mary.” We call Mary “holy” because the Angel called her “full of grace” and
because Elizabeth called her “blessed.” These words have basically the same
meaning. If any Christian could be called “saint” or “holy one” (cf. 2Co 13:13), why could we not call “holy”
the one that the Bible calls “full of grace” and “blessed among women”?
of God.” Elizabeth said to Mary: “And why is this
granted me, that the mother of my Lord
should come to me? (Luke 1:43). “The
Lord” and “God” mean the same thing.
for us sinners.” The apostle James says: “Therefore confess your sins to each
other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a
righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). If we sinners can pray for each other, how much more
effective the prayer of a righteous person would be, and how much more still
the prayer of the Holy Mother of God!
and at the hour of our death.” Because at the hour of our death our eternal
reward will be decided, we ask our Mother to take care of us not only now, but
particularly “at the hour of our death.” “For what will it profit a man if he
gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return
for his soul?” (Mt 16:26). “But God
said to the rich man, 'You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will
get everything you worked for?'” (Luke
12:20). The best business we can make is to save our souls. And mind you, this
includes to save our neighbour. That is why we do not say “pray for me, a
sinner” but we ask “pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”
Amen! -Fr. Andrew