Immaculate-Conception Day Homily

Remember that all able-bodied Catholics must attend Mass either this evening or tomorrow. Our cluster Masses here: 7pm this eve at St. Joseph; 10am tomorrow at St. Francis. The 4:30pm Mass at St. Francis also fulfills the holy day obligation.

PS. If we get a lot of snow during the night Saturday, remember also:

No one ever has an obligation to travel to Mass in unsafe conditions. Including me. I will drive to Martinsville after Rocky Mount Mass Sunday morning, provided it’s safe for me to do so.

I will keep you posted here.


They shall keep my name holy. They shall reverence the holy one of Jacob, and be in awe of the God of Israel. (Isaiah 29:23)

Our religion. The faith of Abraham. In spite of all the estrangement from goodness which goes along with human life on earth; in spite of all the malice and confusion, God’s Israelites keep holy the name of the Creator. We stand in awe of Him—hopefully somewhat like how Adam and Eve themselves stood in awe of their heavenly Father, in the garden. Before the devil tempted them, and they fell.

Among those who have kept the name of God holy, one stands above all the rest. She had absolutely pure religion. She stood in awe before the great loving kindness of God, and submitted herself to that love, without holding back even the tiniest iota of herself.

missale-romanum-white-bgAfter Holy Communion at Mass honoring our Lady’s immaculate conception in St. Ann’s womb, we pray:

May the sacrament we have received heal in us the wounds of that fault, from which, in a singular way, you preserved Blessed Mary.

The wounds of that fault from which the Lord preserved His mother, so that she could show us what the Church of God truly is.

Mary had humble charity. She hastened to help Elizabeth, as soon as she learned about her older cousin’s unusual late-in-life pregnancy. And, of course, Mary showed her perfect compassion even more radiantly at the foot of the cross. No human being has ever loved as Mary loved her son, unto death.

We also know that: Mary’s love proceeded according to penetrating prudence. At the wedding of her kinspeople, she concerned herself with a practical problem. Let’s not run out of wine here, for God’s sake.

But, even more magnificently prudent. She asked the stunning archangel announcing God’s grand plan:

‘How do you figure that, o angel? I only know one way of getting pregnant.’

Faultlessly loving and prudent. But the entire edifice of the Blessed Mother’s purity rested on something else: Faith. Awe before the majesty of Israel’s God.

‘The Holy Spirit will give you a son!’ To which she replied, ‘Amen. I believe in God the Father Almighty, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.’

The Holy Mass is our sacrament of faith in the triune God, Who made heaven and earth, and Who won our salvation on the cross. The Mass can and will heal our fault—the faultiness of our charity, of our prudence, of our faith.

The grace of the Holy Mass is the same grace that preserved the Blessed Mother from original sin. Gathered at the altar, we will overcome the estrangement of The Fall. We will keep the name of God holy.

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