Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Reflection 2020-08-05 Wednesday 18th Week in Ordinary Time – Dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major

Jeremiah 31:1-7; Jeremiah 31; Matthew 15:21-26
We celebrate the Dedication of the Basilica of Mary Major. The Basilica is the oldest and largest church in Rome that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was dedicated to our Lady after the council of Ephesus proclaimed her as the Mother of God. This goes back then to around the year 431. Many say claiming Mary as Mother of God is idolatry, because we make Mary higher than God since God has no mother. While God has no mother, his Son has a Mother because Jesus is human even as he is divine. This union of the divine and human natures in Jesus is without conflict nor confusion. They form the Person of Jesus Christ.
God proves his love for humanity when he choose a woman to bear his Son so he can dwell among us. To say that Mary is the Mother of the Christ (in Greek kristotokos) and not Mother of God (in Greek Theotokos), is to fall into heresy in the early Church which separated the natures of Christ. The title Mother of God given to her in the Council of Ephesus, asserts the Truth that there is no human Jesus separate from the divine Jesus because there is only Jesus, True God and True Man.
How is this applicable to us? This Truth proves what the First Reading says about the love of God who, despite the sins of Israel, loves them with an everlasting love, who will restore Israel back to her glory so people will see God’s salvation. Then the Responsorial Psalm will be fulfilled: He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.
We are redeemed, not because of our good works, but because Jesus died for us as a sacrifice to atone for our sins. This death of Jesus shows the mercy of God, that he willingly sent his Son to die for us, even if we are still enemies of God. Redemption is a gift from God that we receive when we ask for it and when we ask, God gives it by forgiving, restoring and healing us.
This is seen in the Gospel today, when a Canaanite woman came to Jesus and asked him to heal her daughter who is tormented by a demon. Jesus ignored her and even with the request of the disciples, Jesus would not do anything. But the woman persisted only to be told by Jesus that he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Yet, she still persisted and Jesus answered Woman, great is your faith; let it be done for you as you wish. The woman’s attitude shows how we ask this free gift from God. Jesus gave her what she asked when she admitted her nothingness before Jesus. By doing so, she relies on whatever Jesus gives.
When we come to God, we ask him for forgiveness. We admit our nothingness and wait for what he will give us. We cannot demand from God, God does whatever he wants. But he is pleased to give us good things when we ask. So when we ask, we know God will give us what is good. In the case of the Canaanite woman, the crumbs Jesus gave her were enough to heal her daughter. In our case, whatever he gives is enough to forgive, redeem and heal our relationship with him.
Mary’s role as Mother of God reveals the mercy of God. It shows that she is blessed because the Almighty has done great things for her. And more importantly, because she believed that what God told her will be fulfilled. We too will be blessed when we allow the Almighty to do great things for us and when we believe what God promises will be fulfilled.
Lord Jesus, let me trust in you and allow you to do great things for me. Give me a better understanding of your divinity and humanity. Let me know how this reveals the Father’s love for me. Mary, Mother of God, lead me to Jesus. Let me see the Father’s love through the divinity and humanity of your Son, Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to post comments. However, be aware that comments are moderated and may be removed at the author's discretion.