Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, 2015
By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
August 30, 2015 (and following Sundays)
August 30, 2015 (and following Sundays)
I have titled this homily, "Mother" with a subtitle, "When mama prays".
We are taught in our class on Homiletics that we are to take from Scripture the basis to our homilies. This will be a little difficult this weekend because this homily was prepared for last week's readings. But nevertheless we can take from this Gospel reading the last two sentences, "They were exceedingly astonished and they said, he has done all things well. He makes the deaf to hear and the mute speak". This fits the purpose of my homily this way. If we are to be other Christ's in the world should we not do as he did? When mama prays.
Jumping back to last week reading from the same Gospel, how the Jews traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. Which reminds me of the story that my mother told of working for a Jewish family in the Twin Cities before she was married and how she had one time used a meat knife to cut butter, the man of the house was quite horrified and took a tea kettle of hot water to scald that knife back to purity.
Mother also taught us when we were very young how they used to pray the rosary in Bluffton, in German. They would insert in the Hail Mary a few words reflecting on the mystery that they were praying. An example would go something like this: Hail Mary full grace the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women and Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus, .... who was announced, would be the first of joyful mysteries, .... holy Mary mother of God......... this little insert in the Hail Mary helps to keep our minds on the mystery that we are praying and it can be used for all of the 20 mysteries of the rosary including the new Luminary Mysteries. When mama prays.
My Agnes is gone for me now 11 years as of last week. Her claim to fame was and is that she is a mother. Good wife as well she told father Andrew shortly before she died that she was happy that Lawrence was a Deacon it would give them something to do. The first Christmas after her death we found enough of her rosaries to give each one of the grandchildren a rosary along with one that stays by my chair. When mama prays!
A week ago Thursday when we were at Mass at St. Paul's we found it to be the feast day of St. Monica. Her claim to fame, was as much that she was a mother but more so a mother who prays. She was born in North Africa, a Christian married to a pagan, yet it is said, that she remain faithful and was concerned that all of the Christian values were made prominent in her home. She had three children, one to be St. Augustine, which is a story in itself but most important is Monica prayed for her husband and her children, for 17 years. Finally her husband and Augustine embraced the Catholic faith. When mama prays.
A week ago Tuesday when we where at Mass at St. Paul's we saw all these women arrayed in front of us. Yes, there were a few man but for the most part all women representing Holy Family School. More than anything else every women there, was and are mothers, whether maternal or spiritual, who have taken on the responsibility of teaching our children. Taken now from the second reading of St. James, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself undefiled by the world." How easy it would be to add to this passage the instruction of our little ones. When mama prays.
When I would teach my seventh graders concerning the Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy I would use their mothers as the prime example: we don't have time for everything but let's take a look at the Corporal works of Mercy as relates to mother. Who feeds you when you're hungry? Who gave you to drink when you are thirsty, who clothes your nakedness, who provide you shelter, who visited you when you were sick, who came to you when you were imprisoned in your crib our playpen? And how many mothers have had to bury their own children? When mama prays!
With the Spiritual works of Mercy we find mother converting the sinner, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries, and praying for the living and the dead. Why does mother go through all this torment and pain to instruct her little ones, the simplest answer to all of this is that mothers know full well, instinctively, that they are to one day populate heaven along with their children. When mama prays!
We think today of St. Faustina, a spiritual mother to all of us and who spent her entire life interceding before the throne of the Merciful Jesus on our behalf.
When mama prays!
We can think of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton a mother of five and yet founding the first Native American religious community for women the Sisters of Charity and opened parish schools and Catholic orphanages. When mama prays!
We could go on and on remembering all the mothers in Heaven who still Pray for us because they wish for us to join them! When mama prays!
Finally we take a look at Mary the mother of Jesus and our Spiritual Mother, not because she is the last on the list but because she is a total example of motherhood, who taught her Son to pray and for sure she taught in the Psalms. She joined her Son in His Passion and Death, and as prophecy would dictate a sword of sorrow pierced her Miraculous Heart. Even though she must have received word from her Son that at the appointed time they would be together in Heaven and she would be crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth, nevertheless seeing her Son suffer so, must've nearly broken her heart and maybe did. Holy Mary mother of God, pray for us!
I speak now, not only of mothers, but dads and children as well! The one assurance we have, here, as family is to gather around the altar of God, really not only on Sunday but as often as possible, again for a simple reason, there is no greater happening on Earth than what takes place on this altar. There is nothing more beneficial to our community, nation and world then what happens right here in a few moments from now.
Now in part the reason for this homily, is titled when mama prayed, by Randy Travis. [Deacon Kaas explained that one of his granddaughters, my daughter, often played guitar and sang when visiting. A favorite song on these occasions is "When Mama Prayed." — B. H. Gill]
So you all be Good, be Holy, preached the Gospel always using Words and Holy Actions!
'Thank you' to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here.
- "Holy Family, Not '50s Family"
(December 28, 2014)
- "Fear of the Lord: Ancient, Timeless Wisdom"
(November 16, 2014)
- "Synod 14: What I Expect, and What I Don't"
(October 12, 2014)
- "Love, Death, and Families"
(October 5, 2014)
- " 'Be not Afraid' "
(August 10, 2014)