Brother Paul’s Thoughts and Musings Regarding the “Signs of the Times”

Sunday, September 20, 2020
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

During this month of September, the Church and the Marianists have a number of liturgical celebrations regarding honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary. These celebrations include: The Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles (September 5), The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8), and The Most Holy Name of Mary (September 12) which is the Patronal Feast of the Society of Mary. These celebrations offer us the opportunity to reflect on the life of Mary and her significant contribution in the story of salvation history.

Now, for many of our non-Catholic and Protestant friends, many of them may look skeptically at us for regarding these celebrations and possibly with contempt because they would say we are “worshiping” her as we are also alleged to do regarding the saints. They would argue that it is only Jesus Christ who we should honor and worship. They fail to realize that with Mary and the saints, which we remember during the course of the year, how they fit into God’s plan of our redemption for us and are models of holy and Gospel living we are asked to remember and model in our own lives.

As we all know, Mary gave birth to Jesus and allowed the Christ to enter into our world for our hope and salvation. We to, in a symbolic way, “give birth to Christ” in the manner that we live and relate to others. The question for us is how do we model Christ in our lives and become saints ourselves in our day and time. In our current day we have many concerns as: dealing with a deadly pandemic; addressing racial discrimination relating to policing; and what most likely will be a  very nasty campaign season leading up to the November elections. The news is not very positive these days and good news and light has to be shown for the betterment of all. We all have a great calling to give birth to the light of Christ and be saints for our families, friends, co-workers, and all who we relate with on a daily basis. How can we be those models where those around us can say that we are a positive in the midst of so much negative. We are not to be put on pedestals, but be viewed as pleasant signs of hope where hope seems to be a dying commodity Can we be those examples where people are attractive to our lives and want to imitate the hope we offer them?

So as we proceed through this month of remembering Mary and a number of other special people throughout history who offers us a model of how to live in Christ, let us embrace our responsibility to join them in being models of life and light and make it clear that the Gospel can be lived in its letter and spirit.