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5th Sunday of Easter 2009

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Fr.Paul Weinberger

Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 199
Location: Greenville, Texas

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: 5th Sunday of Easter 2009 Reply with quote

5th Sunday of Easter 2009

Homily by: Fr. Paul Weinberger
St. William the Confessor Catholic Parish
Greenville, Texas
May 10, 2009

By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit


On the first day of May when I bought these Azaleas I went to the nursery and the buds were all very tight. I decided to get half red and half white and made the best guess that I could. You will notice there are five pink ones on the top. I wish I could say that I planned that; they make a nice crown and a cross between the red and white Azaleas.

The image of Our Lady and Jesus, about the size of a toddler, is featured there during this month of Mary, and today on Motherís Day we recall her divine maternity. She is the mother of Jesus, who is God; she is the mother of God. This is an element of our faith at which we rejoice.

On the cover of the bulletin you see that our Lady is standing at the open door of what appears to be the Temple of the Lord and the Archangel is announcing to her that she is to be the mother of Jesus, the mother of God. You can see the lilies to the side of our Lady and even the open door is a symbol of our Lady, who posed no obstacle to Godís Will. By so doing, she became the Temple of the Lord. The Holy Spirit descended upon her and she accepted Him into her body. Before she conceived Jesus in her womb as we see this picture, it was the last moment before the first moment of the first minute in the life of Jesus in her virginal womb.

We trace the life of Jesus from that first moment through the nine months in the womb and later his birth in Bethlehem, as well as the hidden life of Christ, which was something given to Our Lady to treasure, which would no doubt console her at the foot of the cross. She would receive Jesus back from the cross, now dead, and place Him in the tomb, where he would rise three days later and then ascend into Heaven for all of us.

Today is motherís day and the mission given to Our Lady is no different than the mission given to each mother, but motherhood is under attack in many ways. The culture of death is attempting to derail the clear image of what it means to be a mother. I wonít enumerate on them but the last one probably to come to the surface is what took place last week in New Hampshire, where they allowed marriage to be defined differently than it has been defined for millennia. Now they are going to say that marriage is not only possible between a man and a woman as husband and wife, but in other forms. This is an attack on marriage and motherhood. This mars our joy today.

The most obvious way that motherhood is under attack today is the great lie that continues to be spread, that there is a finite amount of compassion and love in the heart of a mother. It is impossible. When men study this in their wives and mothers we are amazed at how much ever-renewing amount love there is in the heart of mothers. It astounds us! We have to see that with motherhood under attack today that the solution is already in the works of women themselves, who are spreading the truth about motherhood and confronting errors and lies about motherhood.

There is a lady that is a very dear friend of our family for many years and after WWII she and her husband settled in Dallas and started to raise a family. The children came along very quickly, one right after the other. Theyíd conceived a child but the baby didnít make it to term and so God called that child to Himself. This happened again, and again, and again, and again. They were surrounded by friends and family members, who offered the advice to not subject themselves to having another child but they freely accepted each child knowing the child was sent from God, realizing that the same fate would possibly meet the next child conceived. The fifth child that came along lived even a shorter span than the others did; his life came to an end in the fallopian tube. It was an ectopic pregnancy. When this was discovered the mother nearly gave her life for her child. In each instance the child was conceived and loved by father and mother alike and after the death of each child, the child was mourned.

This is very different from the way the culture of death sees children. Motherhood is reduced merely to a biological function like any other bodily process. Motherhood is diminished and demeaned and even redefined like in New Hampshire last week. God help us! But I have faith in women, those good mothers and mothers, who understand and get it, will be quick to point out the errors of our age.

This friend of my family has heard, I am sure, from perfect strangers and maybe even friends, that she is not a mother. This time of the year and this day in particular is very difficult for her and in her grief she will sometimes say that she was not a mother. I point out to her that she was a mother five times over. She and her husband accepted life each time God sent them life according to their vows, which they made in the Church. This has to be acknowledged and also championed because according to our faith mothers and fathers are open to life as long as God sends life, and they cooperate with Godís grace. God is the Lord and giver of life, just as it says in the Creed we pray each Sunday.

Going back to the picture of Our Lady, that is the first moment of the first minute in the life of Jesus in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In your bulletin I have provided for you the address that Pope Benedict gave to the Academy of Sciences in Rome on April 5th. There is a paragraph that I want to focus on.

Strictly speaking, these human rights are not truths of faith, even though they are discoverable Ė and indeed come to full light Ė in the message of Christ who "reveals man to man himself"

The Holy Father is talking about human rights not being truths of faith but can be traced all the way back to the lowest level of natural law.

The natural law is a universal guide recognizable to everyone, on the basis of which all people can reciprocally understand and love each other.

Consider right now where the Holy Father is today; he is in the Holy Land the center of the bullís eye, if you will. This is a place torn with strife going back centuries. These are people of different tribes, nations, and religions and they all come together in a very difficult vortex known as the Holy Land, specifically, Jerusalem. The Pope is there on a mission of peace and I couldnít be more proud of this Holy Father and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. He is there promoting human rights for all. This is not a throw away phrase that is used for political reasons; the Pope is himself an ambassador of peace. In fact, how fitting it was that he would begin his voyage at the Queen of peace center there in the holy Land. This is a place where Our Lady is honored and peace is possible because of these human rights. Continuing with the Popeís address he says,

Human rights, therefore, are ultimately rooted in a participation of God, who has created each human person with intelligence and freedom.

It is obvious that we can understand natural law and natural law is the place we begin to investigate human rights and the place that we end is recognizing that God has created each human person with intelligence and freedom for as long as God desires to sustain that life on this earth. Sometimes it is a matter of minutes, or days, or weeks, or months, and for the most fortunate, for years, God is the Lord and giver of life and mothers and father cooperate with Godís grace in bringing new life into this world.

If this solid ethical and political basis is ignored, human rights remain fragile since they are deprived of their sound foundation.

You and I are called to do what St. Paul was doing in the Acts of the Apostles. He had a bad name because of the way heíd formerly lived and persecuted the Church. But it didnít stop him; he knew that God had given him a mission and heíd spoken to Him. St. Barnabus told others how God had spoken to him and how in Damascus St. Paul had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.

When we promote the true meaning off motherhood we are imitating what St. Paul was doing in the Acts of the Apostles. In this Year of St. Paul you and I are called to tell the truth about the lie that is promulgated so often about the limit or amount of compassion and love in the heart of a true mother; there is no limit. As children of mothers we are bound to our mothers forever. Every mother, accepting of life, wants to see all her children as often as possible and be with them for all eternity in Heaven. This is the goal of motherhood and the goal of the Blessed Virgin Mary in her divine maternity. Just as Jesus is Divine and we are connected to Him, we see in motherhood the mission of every child being connected to a mother who is intent on helping that child through this valley of tears to Heaven. According to our faith that is how a good mother is defined, one who desires above all to see the best for the child in this life and to experience the love of God for all eternity in Heaven.

By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

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