Jan 25, 2015

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

The word of the Lord came to the prophet Jonah to go and preach repentance to the people of Nineveh. But Jonah fled from the face of the Lord. Eventually he does go to Nineveh, bringing the word of the Lord to the city. The people respond to the Lord’s message and the Lord saw by their actions how they turned from their evil.

Jesus went to Galilee proclaiming the gospel: “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” At the sea of Galilee he sees Simon and Andrew and says to them, “Come after me.” Then he sees James and John and he called to them.

The Lord sees us. When he looks at us, if we receive his loving gaze, then he is able to change our lives. What made the people of Nineveh repent and hear the message that God sent them? The Lord looked upon them. We can try to hide from his gaze but the story of Jonah tells us that is impossible. Simon and Andrew abandon their nets. James and John leave their father in the boat. Unlike Jonah, they immediately respond to the call of the Lord; to the experience of being looked upon by Jesus. Yet, we know that their time with Jesus, in his mission of preaching and healing, is still a difficult one for them. Often they seem not to understand what Jesus is trying to tell them. They bicker and fight among themselves. All of them abandon him on the night when he is arrested in Gethsemane.

This should give us some hope. If we have fled from the Lord like Jonah, we also know that he is relentless in his pursuit of us. If we have given ourselves over to habitual sins even as dark as the wickedness of Nineveh, the Lord does not abandon us but seeks our return to him. If we have said yes to the Lord and left our lives to follow him but often find ourselves not understanding what the Lord wants from us, or find ourselves growing apart from him, we know that he is able to restore us to himself.  He restored Jonah to himself, he restored Nineveh to himself, and he restores the Apostles to himself in the Upper Room after the Resurrection.

If we are willing to open our hearts and our lives to him and let him see us as we really are he can restore us to himself and he can restore us to ourselves. We all have things we keep hidden, past deeds, thoughts, emotions that we try to keep from the sight of others. But we should have no fear of showing these things to the Lord. We cannot hide them from him anyway. St. Augustine says in his Confessions that God is “more intimate to me than I am to myself.”

The cause of the response of Simon, Andrew, James and John is the piercing intimacy of the gaze of Jesus. We all want to be known. We all want to be really seen. When we let the Lord look at us, even at our sins and wounds, the light of his gaze begins the healing process. If we can receive this our hearts will open to two possibilities.

First, because the Lord sees, knows and loves me, even with the difficulties and messiness of my life, I need not avert my eyes from his glory in shame. In fact, he invites me to “Come after him,” to look back at him and see how much he loves me, to allow his gaze to pierce my heart.

Second when I can receive this about myself, I also make the discovery that this is true for others. The intimate relationship I have with the Lord spills over into my relationships with others. Then when I see the other, it becomes possible to look at them through the eyes of the Lord.

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La palabra del Señor vino al profeta Jonás: vaya y predica el arrepentimiento al pueblo de Nínive. Pero Jonás huyó de la presencia del Señor. Al final va a Nínive y lleva la palabra del Señor a la ciudad. La gente responde al mensaje del Señor y el Señor ve sus obras y cómo se convierten de su mala vida.

Jesús fue a Galilea para predicar el evangelio: "El reino de Dios está cerca. Arrepiéntanse y crean en el evangelio." En el mar de Galilea él ve a Simón y a Andrés, y les dice:" Síganme ". Entonces él ve a Santiago y a Juan, y los llama.

El Señor nos ve. Cuando él nos mira, si recibimos su mirada amorosa, entonces él es capaz de cambiar nuestras vidas. ¿Por qué los hombres de Nínive se arrepintieron y porque escucharon el mensaje de Dios? Porque el Señor miró sobre ellos. Podemos tratar de esconderse de su mirada, pero la historia de Jonás nos dice que es imposible. Simón y Andrés dejaron sus redes - inmediatamente. Santiago y Juan dejaron a su padre en el barco. A diferencia de Jonás, respondieron inmediatamente a la llamada del Señor. Porque ellos experimentaron la mirada de Jesús. Pero sus vidas aun con Jesús en su misión de predicar y sanar a los enfermos era todavía difícil. A menudo no parecieron entender lo que Jesús estaba tratando de decirles. Discutieron y pelearon entre símismos. Todos lo abandonaron en la noche, cuando él fue detenido en Getsemaní.

Esto nos da esperanza. Si hemos huido del Señor como Jonás, también sabemos que él es persistente en su búsqueda de nosotros. Si tenemos pecados habituales, incluso si son tan oscuros como la maldad de Nínive, el Señor no nos abandona, mas bien, él espera nuestro regreso. Hemos dicho sí al Señor y dejado nuestras vidas a seguirlo, pero a menudo no entendemos lo que el Señor quiere de nosotros, o comenzamos a alejarnos de él, sabemos que él es capaz de restaurarnos a sí mismo. Él restauró Jonás a sí mismo, él restauró Nínive a sí mismo, y restauró los Apóstoles a sí mismo en el Cenáculo después de la Resurrección.

Si estamos dispuestos a abrir nuestros corazones y nuestras vidas a él y permitirle vernos como de verdad somos, él puede restaurarnos a sí mismo y él puede restaurarnos a nosotros mismos. Todos tenemos cosas que ocultamos a los demás: las acciones pasadas, pensamientos, emociones. Pero no debemos tener miedo de mostrar estas cosas al Señor. De todos modos, no es posible ocultarlos de él. San Agustín dice en sus Confesiones que Dios es "más íntimo a mí que yo a mí mismo."

La respuesta de Simón, Andrés, Santiago y Juan es causada por la penetración intimida de la mirada de Jesús. Todos queremos ser conocidos. Queremos que todos nos reconozcan y nos vean. Cuando permitimos que el Señor nos mira, incluso a nuestros pecados y heridas, la luz de su mirada comienza el proceso de sanación. Si somos capaces de recibir esto nuestros corazones se abrirán a dos posibilidades.

Primero porque el Señor me ve, me conoce y me ama, incluso con mis dificultades y el desorden de mi vida, yo no necesito voltear  mis ojos de su gloria en vergüenza. De hecho, él me invita a "venir después de él," para mirar a él y ver cuánto me ama, y permitir que su mirada penetra mi corazón.

Segundo cuando puedo recibir este sobre mí, yo también descubro que esto es cierto para los demás. La íntima relación que tengo con el Señor derrama en mis relaciones con los demás. Entonces cuando veo al otro, se hace posible mirarlo a través de los ojos del Señor.

Jan 12, 2015

Baptism of the Lord, Year B

At first glance, it may seem odd that we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. Jesus didn’t need baptism, right? Baptism washes away original sin, restores us in relationship to God and gives us sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace makes us holy and pleasing to God. But Jesus is already holy and pleasing to God, so why is this an important event in the Gospels? To begin to reflect on that, we need to return to the story of Israel.

When Moses led the people out of Egypt, they were heading towards the promised land. Because of their sin of idolatry at Mt. Sinai, they had to wander in the desert for forty years. In fact, it is not Moses who leads them into the promised land but he dies without ever setting foot in it. It is Joshua who leads the people into the promised land. Joshua. Because of the way that foreign names get translated we lose the connection between the name of Joshua and the name Jesus. The Hebrew names are the same Yeshua. I won’t go into the philological reasons for how Yeshua becomes Joshua in one case and Jesus in another. The important thing is to know that Jesus is the new Joshua. He is going to lead the people back into the promised land.

John the Baptist is the son of Zechariah, a priest who was serving at the altar of incense at the Temple when the angel came to tell him that he would finally have a son. We are so used to the story of John the Baptist that we don’t find it quite so odd that he is out at the river Jordan wearing camel hair and eating wild honey and locusts. Well, maybe we find it odd but we rarely think, “Wait. That’s not right. Shouldn’t John also be a priest serving in the Temple like his father?” In fact, he is at the River Jordan, which Joshua led the people across, calling people out of the promised land to repent. And Jesus goes out to John to fulfill in his own person the mission of Israel. Not because he needs to repent but because we do. Not because he needs to be sanctified, but because we do. After his baptism he goes out into the desert for forty days in exile from the promised land. He undergoes temptations and triumphs over them, so that we may know that he can triumph over our exile from friendship with God. He can triumph over our temptations. He leads us to the waters that cleanse us of sin. And he doesn’t just ask some odd ceremony from us but he undergoes it himself. In our case the waters of baptism sanctify us. In his case, he sanctifies the waters.

Yet we still have times of exile. We still experience the struggle of temptation and we discover our weaknesses in our sins. Well, he isn’t finished leading us yet. We have to keep following him. We need to follow him into the desert so he can teach us to triumph over ourselves and our enemies by relying solely on God. But where is he leading us? Heaven, of course. Paradise restored. We only have glimpses of what that looks like. But the path that Jesus walked didn’t go immediately from the Baptism to the Resurrection and Ascension. No, the path to Resurrection and living in the presence of God in eternal happiness is reached only through the Cross. From the Cross, when the soldier pierced the Sacred Heart of our Lord, there flowed out water and blood. Jesus took the waters of baptism in his heart throughout his ministry of preaching and healing. The waters he sanctified were there at the Last Supper, in the Garden of Gethsemane, at his trial, mockery, scourging and finally at his crucifxion. From the Cross he gives us back these sanctifying waters so that we, too, might be sanctified. We are invited to share the waters of Baptism because we are invited to share the Lord’s Death.

Dietrich Bonheoffer, a German Lutheran pastor who eventually gave his life because of his resistance against the Nazis, says that “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” This is starkly different than the perception we sometimes have for Christianity. God wants you to be healthy, wealthy and wise some television preachers will say. Theirs is a gospel of superficial forgiveness; of love without depth; of discipleship without suffering – it is cheap grace. We like to remember that God loves us just the way we are; that we really are his beloved children. And rightly so. But we must also remember that this One, upon whom the Holy Spirit descended and about whom the voice said “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased,” is the same one whom the Father permitted to be sacrificed in a most cruel manner.

Our baptism does make us children of God and disciples of the Lord. It is given to us by him. Without it the Christian life isn’t possible. What the Lord asks of us is a difficult thing, though his assistance by grace can make even the gravest of sufferings, even death, a happy thing or at least a very lovely thing because it also makes possible the Resurrection. We humans generally do not like the idea of difficult things, we certainly do not relish the idea of dying, whether that be the real physical death we will all undergo or the daily dying to self that is required of us as disciples of the Lord. But what is it that we take part in here? When we offer this holy sacrifice to the Father for the salvation of the whole world, are we not taking part in the Death of his most beloved Son?

St Paul says in the Second letter to the Corinthinians: “We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but no abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor 4:6-11).  We proclaim the Death of the Lord at every Holy Mass. Don’t we say immediately following the double consecration: “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.”? Participation in his death by virtue of our baptism and this holy sacrifice requires us to repent, to confess, and follow Him who went before us to die so that we might live.

I will give the last word to Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession...Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the Cross, grace without Jesus Christ; living and incarnate.”

Epiphany 2015

The word "epiphany" comes from the Greek words "epi" and "phanein." Epi means upon and phanein means to show or manifest. Epiphany is, literally, to show forth or shine upon/forth. The Feast of the Epiphany is usually associated with the Magi. Historically it was utilized also for remembering the birth of Jesus, the coming of the Magi, the baptism by John in the river Jordan (and still today in the Armenian Rite the Birth of Jesus is celebrated on January 6). All these events, and others, are manifestations of the hidden God.

God desired Israel to be a people set apart for himself. God decided to show all the nations who he is through the fidelity of Israel. When Moses gave the laws to the people, he said to them: " You know that I have taught you statutes and justices, as the Lord my God has commanded me: so shall you do them in the land which you shall possess: And you shall observe, and fulfill them in practice. For this is your wisdom, and understanding in the sight of nations, that hearing all these precepts, they may say: Behold a wise and understanding people, a great nation. Neither is there any other nation so great, that has gods so near them, as our God is present to all our petitions." (Dt. 4:5-7)

God reveals himself in his commandments and teachings. Israel had good reason to praise God for having revealed these things to them. Who would have known the truth without any error unless God taught them? However, although this shows a special relationship with Israel and the greatness of God, we should not forget that an additional purpose is so that the nations might be able to hear it and to see it lived in the people that God has chosen. Isaiah the prophet reminds Israel of this truth. If Jerusalem shines with light, it is so that the nations, also, will walk by the light. In the end, it is Jesus who will fulfill the whole mission of Israel in his own person. Rejoice if you have seen the light, but remember that the light is given to you so that other might see.

Jesus, after he begins preaching in Israel, will go to a mountain and will teach the people. Like Moses, he clarifies the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. The Sermon on the Mount begins in chapter five and continues until chapter seven verse twenty nine. This whole section is the Sermon on the Mount. There is much more here than just the Beatitudes. In chapter five verse fourteen through sixteen, he says: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Like Moses, Jesus teaches and instructs the people according to the will of the Father. Like Isaiah, he reminds them that the fidelity of the people will be a light for the nations so that the nations might glorify God.

Jesus is already doing this as a child in Bethlehem. He brings these wise men to himself so that the nations also are able to give glory to God. When King Herod hears this he calls the high priests and the scribes of the people and asks them where the Messiah must be born. Observe that the men from a far-away nation have been following the signs and come seeking the king who would be born. However, those in authority in Israel only remember when they are told by foreigners! How is it that the foreigners recognize the light which the people have ignored?

This is what the Feast of the Epiphany reminds us. The treasure and manifestation of Christ in Bethlehem comes with a obligation for our lives. In the Catholic Church the hidden God is revealed. He reveals himself in the Gospels and the Sacred Scriptures. He reveals himself in the mysteries that we celebrate in the sacraments. He reveals himself in the doctrines of faith and morals which are taught by the Catholic Church. But if we are not living in accordance with the Gospels, Sacraments and Doctrines, how will anyone be able to receive his light through us? When others hear about us and our lives, how often do they hear how we do not agree with everything that the Church teaches? When they see our lives, how often do the see a lifestyle that is contrary to the teachings of the Church? Contraception, divorce and remarriage, abortion, ordination of women, the liturgy, immigration, our obligation to the poor – these are only some of the things in which we are able to see a general denial  of the truths taught by the Catholic Church.

When we were baptized, we received a candle and it was said to us: “Receive the light of Christ.” Each Easter we light the Paschal Candle and the Deacon sings “The Light of Christ!” And we respond: “Thanks be to God!” Beware, brother and sisters. There is another star, another bearer of light, who was called Lucifer, but is now named Satan, who seeks to hide, with the darkness of sin, the light of the faith in our hearts. He dazzles the world with deceptions; blinds our intellects with false knowledge. Like Herod, we may find ourselves set against the True Light of the world and even trying to extinguish it in others. We must seek Christ and him alone. We must be faithful in all things, just as he instructed us through his Holy Church. And when we find him, we must open the treasures of our hearts to him, prostrate ourselves before him, and adore him. And we must go by another way than the one the world would have us go.

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Epifanía viene del griego koiné “epi” y “phanein”. Epi significa sobre. Phanein significa mostrar o manifestar. Epifanía es, literalmente, para manifestar o brillar sobre. La fiesta de la Epifanía, generalmente asociada a los Reyes Magos, históricamente fue utilizada también para conmemorar el nacimiento de Jesús, la llegada de los Magos y el bautismo por Juan en el río Jordán (y todavía en la Iglesia armenia se celebra la Navidad el seis de enero). Todos estos eventos, y otros, son manifestaciones del Dios escondido.

Dios quería que Israel fuera un pueblo separado para sí mismo. Dios decidió mostrar a todas las naciones quien es él a través de la fidelidad de Israel. Cuando Moisés dio las leyes a la gente, les dice: "Cumplan los mandamientos del Señor que yo les enseño, como me ordena el Señor, mi Dios. Guárdenlos y cúmplanlos porque ellos son la sabiduría y prudencia de ustedes a los ojos de los pueblos. Cuando tengan noticias de todos estos preceptos, los pueblos se dirán: En verdad esta gran nación es un pueblo sabio y prudente. Porque, ¿cuál otra nación hay tan grande que tenga dioses tan cercanos como lo está nuestro Dios, siempre lo invocamos?" En el Salmo ciento cuarenta y siete leemos: "Declara su palabra a Jacob, y sus estatutos y sus ordenanzas a Israel. No ha hecho así con ninguna otra nación; y en cuanto a sus ordenanzas, no las han conocido."

Dios se revela en sus mandamientos y enseñanzas. Israel tenía razón para alabar a Dios por haber revelado estas cosas a ellos. Quién hubiera sabido la verdad sin ningún error a menos que Dios les enseña? Sin embargo, a pesar de que se muestra la relación especial de Israel y la grandeza de Dios, no debe olvidarse que un propósito adicional es para que las naciones puedan oírlo y ver que vivía en el pueblo que Dios habia escogido. Isaías el profeta recuerda a Israel de esa verdad. Si Jerusalén brilla con luz, es para que las naciones, también, caminarán por la luz. Alégrate si has visto la luz, pero recuerda que la luz se te da para que otros puedan ver. Jesús cumple toda la misión de Israel en su persona.

Jesús, después que comienza a predicar en Israel, irá a una montaña y le enseñará a la gente. Como Moisés, deja en claro los mandamientos y órdenes del Señor. El Sermón de la Montaña comienza en el capítulo cinco y continúa hasta el capítulo siete versículo veintinueve. Toda esta sección es el Sermón de la Montaña. Hay mucho más que sólo las Bienaventuranzas. En el capítulo cinco verso catorce al dieciséis, él dice: "Ustedes son la luz del mundo. No se puede ocultar una ciudad construida en lo alto de un monte; y cuando se enciende una vela, no se esconde debajo de una olla, sino que se pone sobre un candelero, para que alumbre a todos los de la casa. Que de igual manera brille la luz de ustedes ante los hombres, para que viendo las buenas obras que ustedes hacen, den gloria a su Padre, que está en los cielos.” Al igual que Moisés, Jesús enseña e instruye al pueblo de acuerdo a la voluntad del Padre. Como Isaías, les recuerda que la fidelidad del pueblo será una luz para las naciones, para que las naciones glorifiquen a Dios.

Jesús ya estaba haciendo esto como un niño en Belén. Él llevó a estos hombres sabios a sí mismo para que las naciones también pudieran dar gloria a Dios. Al enterarse de esto, el rey Herodes ... convocó a los sumos sacerdotes y a los escribas del pueblo y les preguntó dónde tenía que nacer el Mesías. Observen que son los hombres de una nación lejana que han estado siguiendo los signos y vienen buscando al rey que había de nacer. Sin embargo, los que tienen autoridad en Israel sólo recuerdan cuando se les dice por los extranjeros! ¿Cómo es que los extranjeros reconocen la luz que la gente ha ignorado?

Esto es lo que la fiesta de la Epifanía nos recuerda. El tesoro y la manifestación de Cristo en Belén que viene con una obligación para nuestras vidas. En la Iglesia Católica el Dios escondido se revela. Él se revela en los Evangelios y en las Sagradas Escrituras. Él se revela en los Misterios que celebramos en los sacramentos. Él se revela en las doctrinas de la fe y morales que se enseñan por la Iglesia Católica. Pero si no estamos viviendo de acuerdo con los Evangelios, los Sacramentos y doctrinas, ¿cómo puede alguien más recibir su luz a través de nosotros? Cuando escuchan de nosotros y de nuestras vidas, ¿con qué frecuencia oyen cómo no estamos de acuerdo con todo lo que la Iglesia enseña? Cuando ven a nuestras vidas, ¿con qué frecuencia ven a un estilo de vida que es contrario a las enseñanzas de la Iglesia? Contracepción, el divorcio y el nuevo matrimonio, el aborto, la ordenación de las mujeres, la liturgia, la inmigración, la ayuda a los pobres - estos sólo son algunos de los temas en los que vemos la negación generalizada de las verdades enseñadas por la Iglesia Católica.

Cuando fuimos bautizados recibimos una vela y nos dijeron: "Recibe la luz de Cristo." Cada Pascua encendemos el cirio pascual y el diácono canta "La luz de Cristo!" Y nosotros respondemos: "Demos gracias a Dios. "Cuidado, hermanos y hermanas. Hay otra estrella, otro portador de la luz, que se llamaba Lucifer, pero que ahora se llama Satanás, que busca ocultar con la oscuridad del pecado a la luz de la fe en nuestros corazones. Él deslumbra al mundo con enganas, ciega nuestros intelectos con conocimiento falso. Al igual que Herodes, podemos encontrarnos contra la verdadera luz del mundo y tratando de extinguirla en otros. Debemos buscar a Cristo y solo él. Debemos ser fieles en todas las cosas, como él nos instruyó a través de su Santa Iglesia. Y cuando lo encontremos, debemos abrir los tesoros de nuestro corazón a él, postrarnos ante él y adorarlo. Y tenemos que ir por un camino diferente al que el mundo quisiera que fuéramos.

Jan 1, 2015

Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.

Today is the octave of Christmas. The liturgical calendar of the Church views these days as an extension of the Feast of Christmas. Each day we have recited the Gloria and today we also will recite the Creed. What began with an emphasis on the Nativity of our Lord ends by calling our attention to the Maternity of Mary. The first and the greatest of the titles of Mary is "Mother of God." Yes, the Immaculate Conception comes chronologically before her Maternity but it happens because of and due to her Maternity.

And yet, we need to ask ourselves what it is that we mean when we call the Blessed Virgin "Mother of God." Is Mary the source of the divinity of Jesus? No. No more than our own mothers are the source of our immortal and spiritual souls. But I do not say about my mother that she is only the mother of my body. "Hello, mother of my body," would sound ridiculous. She is the mother of me, even though is was God who made my soul from nothing. In a similar way, Mary is the Mother of Jesus, although she is neither the source of his divinity nor of his human soul. We do not simply call Mary the Mother of his Body. Although, by this alone, she still would be the most magnificent mother in the whole world.

Mothers give birth to persons. And Jesus is a person. This Child to whom Mary gives birth is a Divine Person with a Divine Nature and a human nature. Mary is the Mother of a Divine Person, even though he existed in his Divinity before her, in fact, has always existed. Again, we do not say "Mother of the Human Nature." Natures do not need a mother, but persons do. Jesus is God. Mary is the Mother of Jesus. Therefore, she is appropriately called "the Mother of God."

When we call Mary "Mother of God," we are not only recalling the greatness of her vocation, but we are also proclaiming the Gospel. This Child, to whom Mary gives birth, es at the same time God and man. In the womb of Mary, God fashioned for himself human flesh, in order that, united in his Most Adorable Divine Person, he might make possible for us participation in his Divine Life. All this we say when we call Mary "Mother of God."

Mary gave birth to the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Mary gave birth to God, who became man. Mary gave birth to the Light of the World. And when the darkness came in the form of death on the Cross, the Light of the World, knowing that he was going to crush the darkness of death by the light of the glory of his resurrection, he gave to us his Mother. He did this so that the faith might be born in us. From the womb of Mary was born the Light of the World, in the heart of Mary, we are born in faith. From Him we have received a Mother, from her we have received the Son.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

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Solemnidad de Santa Maria, Madre de Dios

Hoy es la octava de Navidad. El calendario litúrgico de la Iglesia ve en estos días una extensión de la fiesta de Navidad. Cada día hemos recitado el Gloria, y hoy también recitamos el Credo. Lo que comenzó con un énfasis en la Natividad de nuestro Señor termina llamando nuestra atención sobre la maternidad de María. El primero y el más grande de todos los títulos de María es "Madre de Dios". Sí, la Inmaculada Concepción viene cronológicamente antes de su Maternidad pero sucede a causa de y debido a su maternidad.

Sin embargo, tenemos que preguntarnos qué queremos decir cuando llamamos a la Santísima Virgen "Madre de Dios". ¿Es María la fuente de la divinidad de Jesús? No. No más que nuestras propias madres son la fuente de nuestras almas inmortales y espirituales. Pero no lo digo acerca de mi propia madre que ella es sólo la madre de mi cuerpo. "Hola, madre de mi cuerpo", sonaría ridículo. Ella es mí madre, a pesar de que fue Dios quien hizo mi alma de la nada. De manera similar, María es la Madre de Jesús, aunque ella ni es la fuente de su divinidad ni de su alma humana. No llamamos a María simplemente la Madre de su cuerpo. Aunque esto por sí solo la haría la más magnífica madre en todo el mundo.

Las madres dan a luz a las personas. Y Jesús es una persona. Porque el Niño, a quien María dio a luz, es una persona divina con una naturaleza divina y una naturaleza humana, María es la Madre de la persona divina, a pesar de que en su divinidad existía antes que ella, de hecho, ha existido siempre. Una vez más, no decimos Madre de la Naturaleza Humana. Las naturalezas no necesitan de una madre, sino más bien personas. Jesús es Dios. María es la Madre de Jesús. Por lo tanto, ella se llama apropiadamente "La Madre de Dios."

Cuando llamamos a María "Madre de Dios" estamos recordando no sólo la grandeza de su vocación, pero también estamos proclamando el Evangelio. Este niño, a quien María dio a luz, es al mismo tiempo Dios y hombre. En el vientre de María, Dios formó carne humana para sí mismo para que, unidos en su Adorablissima Persona Divina, pudiera hacer para nosotros la participación en su vida divina. Todo esto lo decimos cuando llamamos a María "Madre de Dios".

María dio a luz a la Segunda Persona de la Santísima Trinidad. María dio a luz a Dios, que es también hombre. María dio a luz a la Luz del mundo. Y cuando la oscuridad llegó en la forma de la muerte en la Cruz, la Luz del Mundo, sabiendo que iba a aplastar a la oscuridad de la muerte con la luz de la gloria de su Resurrección, nos dio a su madre. Lo hizo para que así en nosotros naciera la fe. Desde el vientre de María nació la luz del mundo, en el corazón de María, nacemos en la fe. Ella dio a luz a nuestro Salvador en Belén, ella dio a luz a nosotros en el Calvario. De Jesucristo hemos recibido una madre, de ella hemos recibido al Hijo.

Santa Maria, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros.