June 25, 2008
Seventh Day of Novena to Mother of Perpetual Help
First Day of Triduum
Readings: Galatians 4:4-7 Psalm 22 Luke 2:16-21
Mother of God
Good evening. My name is Sr. Hildegard. On behalf of this Redemptoristine community I would like to welcome you to the first Mass of the Triduum for the Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. We are so happy that you are with us tonight.
In these days of the Novena we have been honoring Mary in her various titles such as Mother of Good Counsel and Queen of Peace. Tonight we ponder her title as Mother of God, in Greek, Theotokos or Godbearer. It is a title which we rather take for granted. Of course, Mary is the Mother of God. But in the 4th and 5th centuries this theological concept was not a given. The story of how the title Mary Mother of God was proclaimed at the Council of Ephesus in the year 431 is filled with heresies and intrigues fit for CNN Courtroom coverage. Why the battle and why the title?
Catholics are fond of the expression "to Jesus through Mary". We believe she points to Jesus, leads us always to Jesus. It is said that the prominence of Mary's right hand in the icon of Perpetual Help is like the needle of a compass always pointing to true north. She seems to be saying, "Look to him in everything."
The title Mother of God was vital sixteen hundred years ago in the year 431 because it pointed to the divinity of Jesus. In the presence of tumult and discord it underscored forever the divine nature of Jesus. It was much more about him than it was about her. And Mary must have liked that. The title, Mother of God, points to her son, the Word of God incarnate in our humble flesh, both divine and human.
May we follow Our Mother's lead as we begin this banquet of Word and Eucharist. Let us rise to greet our celebrant Father Charles Brinkman and lift our voices in a joyful song of praise.
Holy Mary, help all in distress, encourage the fainthearted, console the sorrowful, be the advocate of all the clergy and religious, strengthen family life, bring peace to our world, intercede for all God’s holy people; let all feel your aid who implore your Perpetual Help.
V: Our Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
R: That we may become worthy of the promises of Christ.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who has given us your Mother Mary, whose miraculous image we venerate, to be our Mother, ever ready to help us, grant we pray, that we who earnestly implore your aid may deserve to enjoy perpetually the fruit of your redemption. You who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.