January 1, 2017
Feb 22, 2017
Mary Mother of God – A Reflection by Fr. Leo
“God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying out, "“Abba, Father!"
So you are no longer a slave but a son,
and if a son then also an heir, through God.”
If I’m honest, the message religion gave me when I was growing up was that I was an unworthy sinner, not worthy of God’s love. And if you lived a good life, God might let you in to heaven, but no guarantees. My faith life became a matter of trying to be perfect and earning my way to heaven. Religion was a source of fear and not solace.
I wish I would have grasped the sentence above from Galatians. My very desire for God was the presence of God within me, making me God’s son! What was I to be afraid of if God was for me and if God loved me as his own son? I didn’t understand that the same Spirit that worked through Mary, spoke to Joseph in a dream, and empowered Jesus to be the Christ of God, was already within me.
Rather than living in fear, I should have been living with a burning desire to love God as God loved me, imperfect as I am. In our gospel today, the shepherds rejoice and glorify God who announces himself to them, the out-casts, before anyone else. Rejoicing is to be the Spirit that dwells in our hearts. Like Mary, we simply ponder God’s love in our hearts and praise God in our solitude and prayer. Ours is to rejoice that God has chosen us to be his sons and daughters. Let us allow ourselves to accept this gift and the unutterable joy that it brings.