Thank you to Fr. John Gordon for celebrating the Mary, Mother of Hope mass with us. Below, you can read his inspiring homily. Mary, Mother of Hope, pray for us!
"So the word of God has a couple of interesting comments, interesting lines
for us that I think are good for us to reflect on. “I have struck root among the
glorious people and the portion of the Lord his heritage.”, “Come to me oh you that yearn for me and be filled with my fruits”. This is wisdom speaking, this is a wisdom and a personification of wisdom, hinted at in the earlier pages of the old testament. It's a hint of the trinity of the Holy Spirit, the wisdom of God, the person of God. And we hear this, at least I hear this, and I hear “I have struck rood among the glorious people in the portion of the Lord his heritage”, I thank you Lord for making us this people, making us this people whom you have found a home in, whom Lord God your wisdom resides. It's one of the things that's always struck me, even before he was part of the community, when I was still visiting, and it was like “yes there's wisdom here about a shared life and about the joy of the Lord”.
We've seen something of the power and and the hope of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
And the word of God continues as we heard in our second reading from St. Paul to the Romans, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” And when I hear this I think of us so much that we are people to abound in the hope, the joy, the peace that comes from God in the power of the Holy Spirit. We've seen the power of the Holy Spirit at work among us, yes? We have seen in terms of people coming to faith, coming to believe, lives being changed, relationships being restored, the Gospel being proclaimed. We've seen something of the power and and the hope of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. And of course the Gospel, the powerful story of Cana, Mary's wonderful intercession, Jesus who still talks to her like he did when he was 12 years old, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? Didn't you know I had to be my Father's business?” But he said His hour had not come, but she knew his hour had come, that this was what he was supposed to do. And she does a wonderful thing, one thing I love about Mary is she's a very practical woman of God, very practical. From the very beginning when we meet Mary, “How can this be, I don't know man?” and of course the angel has that wonderful line, “the Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the most high will overshadow you and the child will be called holy the son of God”. And so here she has very simply this practical concern, they have no wine. Certainly the Lord is concerned with every detail of our lives and here Mary is a personification of that concern and that care, they have no wine. This isn't really the biggest earth-shattering problem that God's going to have to deal with on the face of the earth, these aren't the lepers, these aren't the people who are maimed, they're having a party they ran out of wine, okay not the end of the world. And yet Jesus comes and satisfies, more than satisfies serves the good wine. Those of us who have been to Cana realize that's probably the miracle that was good wine at all, that's another story.
But we see something of the glory of God being revealed and people beginning to believe and that we have seen too, yes? And so we find ourselves, I find myself often enough saying Lord, why? Why us? Why did you choose us? Whether we're saying that individually or collectively, choosing us to experience your grace, choosing us to know you in such profound and personal and powerful a way, why have you chosen us Lord God? In the first place because God is just good and gracious, that's just the kind of God we have. We don't earn, we didn't deserve it, He just is good and gracious and fills us with love. And the other thing is, I don't know about you, but I, we need it. We need the presence of God, we need the glory of God, we need the power of God, we need that. And so in His generosity, He gives it to us. But not just for us. You see, if the Lord had chosen Israel, if the Lord had given us such hope, it's because just as he chose Israel to be his witness to the Gentiles, so he chooses us as it were to be the witnesses to the the new Gentiles, as it were, those who do not know the power of God, those who do not know the glory of God, or maybe those who have grown cold and lukewarm in their faith because they do not know the Lord Jesus Christ. And so He's called us to do this, he's called us to be his witnesses in that powerful way, in that way in which hope is renewed and restored and joy and peace and the power of the Holy Spirit are granted to us to go through us that others might come to know this.
God is just good and gracious, that's just the kind of God we have.
And so I want to suggest three ways in which we want to respond to that. The first is to be generous. He will not abandon us, He will not leave us orphaned, He will not
make us destitute, so be generous in sharing the gospel, be generous in living the gospel, be generous in serving the Lord, to be generous with ourselves with all that we have. And I don't just mean the stuff, I mean the stuff within us, to be gracious, to do
everything we do in a way that offers blessing and peace. To have a kindness, to have a joy and a peace about us, and I'm not saying something like, oh you didn't know this or oh we're not living this, I'm kind of affirming what we're all about, to be generous to be gracious, and then I will say to be great. To not settle for mediocrity,
to not settle for just you know getting by, I'm not saying to not care about small things, clearly they have no wine at the moment was a is a relatively small thing, so
it's in the individual situations and in the unique close small things that's perfectly fine, but to respond to it in a great way yes? To not just "oh it's a small thing, it's no big deal" but to to be great, to hold nothing back, to be generous, to be gracious, to be great.
I think if we can do this more and more with the grace that God has given us,
especially to be a people of hope, in the midst of a world, in the midst of a time that cries out for this perhaps more clearly than ever before, in the midst of an environment in which hopelessness pervades, in which anxiety and fear, isolation and alienation rule the day. In which anxiety about the future, about the present and certainly fear about the past coming back are predominant. And so hope is lost for so many people. They might hold on to faith a little bit but hold on to love even sometimes but hope is a very precious and rare commodity I think these days. Why us Lord? Why us? “Because I'm good and gracious to you”, says the Lord, “because I love you”, says the Lord and “because it's not just for you” says the Lord. Let us be generous, let us be gracious, let us be great.”
Let us be generous, let us be gracious, let us be great.”