The month of October is also the month of Mary. So, I would like to invite us to reflect on the place and the role of the Virgin Mary in our life. We remember that her Son Jesus Christ entrusted her to us as our mother. Model of faith, humility and surrender to God’s will, the Blessed Mother points and leads us to Her Son as the Wellspring of the living water who makes us sharers in His love and glory. But before then, we are invited to strive to be expressions of His unconditional and endless love for one another.
In today’s readings we are reminded that we all share the same origin as children of God and created in His image and after His likeness. What should define us is therefore love; unconditional love which binds us through the partaking of the Body and the sharing of the Cup of the New Covenant. Like the love that should be expressed and lived in the sacrament of marriage, which is the expression of Christ’s love for His Church, those who are baptized in Christ, those who have died with Him in the water of baptism are invited and meant to be the exemplification of that same love for one another for the building up of the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
The letter to the Hebrews insists upon the need for unity between the children of God which takes its roots in the consecration of Christ for His disciples, those the Father gave Him. In His priestly prayer for unity, we hear Christ say these words to His Father: “for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth” (John 17:19). Unity stems from love. Those who are consecrated call one another brothers and sisters, for indeed that is who they have become when they accepted to follow Christ. And brotherhood and sisterhood, all of this is demonstrated through the expressions of love we show for one another. Christ Himself said: “People will know that you are mines when they see how much you love one another.” To love is to always work towards the unity of the body despite our singularities and uniqueness. Saint Paul has insisted on the importance of unity when he reminds us that we all are members of the Body. It is precisely through the genuine love we show to/for one another that true unity can be built and lived within the Body.
Mary gives us an example of the way we are to build that unity, that is by surrendering to God’s will. We all remember her answer at the Visitation: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me” (Luke 1:38). Surrendering to God’s will can be seen as weakness in the eyes of the world; but did not Saint Paul tell us that God chose what is seen in and by the world as weakness to confound the strong? To embrace Christ and to show love for one another is exactly what makes us the salt of the earth and light of the world. This way we let the power of God be manifested in our weakness.
As we strive to be the expression of God’s love through our love for one another, for all people – known and unknown to us – let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.