asdfasdf
Our Lady’s statue in front of St. James!
(c) Anthony Zubac 2019

February 4, 2019

Dear Family of Mary!

One more homily! Fr. Max gave this most powerful homily last week, and I really wanted to share it with you in written form. His teaching will help us to begin to prepare for Lent! It is long, so without delay, here it is:

Fr. Maximilian Dalve – Homily for January 30, 2019 in Medjugorje
(Gospel was Mark 4:1-20. The parable of the sower and the seed)

The parable for today is explained by Jesus so if you really want to understand you will find a lot of material to meditate upon. The only tricky part is when He said that for those outside it is hidden for them, and they don’t understand why. It is an act of the Mercy of God. Knowing that they don’t want to understand and there is nothing that can be done, He doesn’t want to lay further guilt upon them by their refusal of grace. That would lead to a worse punishment.

Obviously, God in the end along with Mercy also provides Justice. Otherwise His mercy would be unjust, and that would not be His mercy but a human produced mercy. We would no longer be free, love would have no constancy any more. So, to be the real love of God, real mercy, there has to be justice for those who don’t want mercy. And though the Lord would not want to chastise them, He would have to chastise them. Actually, chastisement doesn’t mean that God chastises them but that they chastise themselves by excluding themselves. God loves them still, because He wants all to be saved. And therefore, He hid it from them.

But today we see in that rich soil of grace, that soil that produced 100fold, we call it the heart of Mary, where we should all find our refuge. There also we can produce 30, 60 or 100fold. But there is a gradation, a list, an ascension towards a fullness. The 100fold is like perfection. We are called to perfection.

Mary in several messages speaks to us about perfection. She calls us to perfection of life. She expresses it more frequently as holiness of life – complete holiness, oneness with Christ her Son, with the Father even! So, let’s look into these different aspects of the good.

Good is not just “I do good.” There is good, better and perfection (100fold). And looking it up in the Bible, we see St. Paul in the letter to the Romans, Chapter 12: 2 he says, “Do not model your behavior on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourself what is the will of God, what is good, pleasing to Him and perfect.” These three gradations, Paul presents on several occasions.

Now it also has to be said that not all the Bibles give a good translation of it. There are some Bibles in which the real meaning of those words is not there. Paul speaks of discernment. And speaks of three steps. The Gospel says at 30, 60 and 100fold. Paul says to do good, be pleasing to God and be perfect. All by doing His will, doing the will of God. As we said yesterday, that is how we can become brothers, sisters and even mothers of Jesus. By doing the will of God.

So, the maternity of Mary, doing the will of God, is not just passive in that she received, and it went through her and so it happened. It was nothing of hers. As tremendous as that is, she actively collaborated, doing the will of God. And it is the highest form of activity. It was so strong in her that the will of God became flesh! That is the activity that we receive. And this is the docility to the Holy Spirit that He can work through. To use another parable, the sap of the tree can produce with a branch what God has decided. Another branch will make his own thing. Some will produce whatever, banana or kiwi, or whatever according to its nature. So, she was called to bring forth the Son of God. The Eternal Word. A mystery so great and yet she was called to do it actively, even giving her consent. Not just passively. When she said, “How is this possible?”, she questioned. That means she had a free will. She was not just a tool used. She had free will, she gave her consent and she collaborated actively with the Holy Spirit doing the will of God.

That is a perfect way that we can never understand. The docility was so great that God could use her flesh to become flesh. What more can be said? But, also, we are here, and we are called to perfection. Jesus calls us to perfection. And in the Gospel of Luke on which we meditate this year, he says that perfection consists in mercy. Because sometimes we enter into an idea of “perfectionism”. So that I clean my car so perfectly that there is no stain, and everything is perfect. And I think that is perfection. There is a perfectionism sometimes in us. It can be even in our spiritual life. So, we have to convert, to baptize and confirm this perfectionism by saying, Ok I want to be perfect, because God calls us to be perfect. But not perfect in cleaning even the slightest things, but perfect in love and charity. So very delicate in my relationship with my neighbor. In my thoughts and feelings to my neighbor. There yes, we want perfection. Perfection in mercy not in material things. So, it has to be elevated, this desire to be perfect. Which is good!

Now in the gradational list we see what is good, better and perfect, there is always the fundamental distinction between good and evil. Avoid evil and do good. Even in evil itself there are gradations. We know it in moral theology and confession. There is mortal sin, venial sin, and imperfections. When Padre Pio or Mother Teresa of Calcutta or St. John Paul II confessed themselves weekly, what did they confess? According to the norm, you have to confess mortal sin, but it is good to confess even venial sins. And then probably those great saints, who had few if any venial sins to confess, would confess their imperfections which in themselves can be imperfections which are voluntary or involuntary. The involuntary imperfections nobody can avoid. But the voluntary imperfections can cause a slow down or even a stoppage of our progress on the way to perfection if we don’t address them.

Obviously before addressing the involuntary imperfections, we have to address venial sins and mortal sins. Otherwise we would be like the Pharisees who strained out the fly [gnat], Jesus said, but swallowed the camel.

So, let’s go on the other side. The good side. Where there is a growth. I don’t do evil, someone may say. It’s good to not do bad things. But it’s bad to not do good! It is not enough to not do bad things. You have to learn to do good. We are called to collaborate, actively. Do the will of God, which desires for us perfection. As Jesus says repeatedly. And there is good that we can do better. We can do it perfectly.

How to reach there? Everyone would like to have it at the end of our lives as we go before God, we don’t want to come with 30. We would like to have 60 or even 100. How to do that? God calls us to perfection but at the same time we know that perfection we cannot achieve by our own strength. Tremendous, because without the Holy Spirit, nothing is good in us, nothing is free from the stain of sin. So, this is a collaboration like Mary, collaboration with the Holy Spirit. The more docile we are, the more we listen interiorly to His promptings which always guide us to the way of charity. The more we will advance. Because without [the Holy Spirit] it is just unreachable.

It is like the Holy Spirit, the Father of the Poor, those who are poor of self who let themselves be reached by Him. So, He takes us by the hand and guides us into the garden and shows us beautiful fruits on the tress. This fruit you know are the Fruits of the Spirit, acts most perfectly completed under the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And He says, Pick! We are called to pick those fruits. But we are small, and the tree is high. So how can we reach? So, we should ask the Holy Spirit, as a loving father and loving mother, He would take us like the mother takes a little child and hold us high up to take the fruit. These are acts completed under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

And there are even more perfect fruits, more perfect acts that we can accomplish under the guidance of the Holy Spirit which are the Beatitudes. We can’t live to the full the Christian life, which are the Beatitudes, without being docile to the Holy Spirit, therefore we have to learn from Mary. Her docility. We have to ask her to give us that docile heart. Her Immaculate Heart. For He wants to accomplish these deeds in us and through us. Obviously, we have to understand that these deeds are not done by myself. I would mess up the whole thing, and the fruit would rot immediately. We have to see this collaboration is a synergy with the Holy Spirit, who wants to guide us into the greatest perfection. If you would know how great the perfection is He wants for us, the transformation into Christ He wants for us, you would weep for joy. You would dance, you would sing with St. Francis, praise the Lord, and walk listening to Him. Not to ourselves. Emptying ourselves of self. That He can accomplish His deeds. That is all for the salvations of souls and for the Glory of the Father. Amen.

Our Lady once said to us:

March 25, 2001 “Dear children! Also today I call you to open yourselves to prayer. Little children, you live in a time in which God gives great graces but you do not know how to make good use of them. You are concerned about everything else, but the least for the soul and spiritual life.. Awaken from the tired sleep of your soul and say yes to God with all your strength. Decide for conversion and holiness. I am with you, little children, and I call you to perfection of your soul and of everything you do. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

We say, Amen!

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2019