daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Thursday, December 22, 2011
1 Sam. 1:24-28, 1 Sam. 2, Luke 1:46-56

"And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior'" (Luke 1:46-47).

After conceiving the Son of God in her womb, "Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah" (Luke 1:39). She has the Son of God in her womb, in her body, near her heart. He is always with her. During this entire journey of five days from Galilee to Judah she is always with him, intimately united to him both physically and spiritually; and her soul and spirit rejoice in the Lord, who has done great things for her.

Mary is the first human being to experience the Son of God dwelling physically and spiritually in herself, in her womb, but also in her heart, soul, and spirit, rejoicing her with his presence, peace, and love. In this, she is the prototype of every Christian, who can now unite himself to Jesus, the Son of God, in his heart; and can unite himself sacramentally and physically to him in his body by receiving the Eucharist, which is his body and blood. The Eucharist contains Christ's humanity and divinity, which enter our body, near our heart, and unite us to the Father, to God, and rejoice our soul and spirit. Christ said, "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (John 6:56). The Eucharist unites us to Christ, just as the conception of Jesus in Mary's womb united her to him.

But the mystery is deeper still, for Jesus Christ, with whom we unite ourselves in faith, prayer, and the Eucharist, is intimately united to the Father; and if we are united to Jesus, we are, through him, united to the Father. Christ unites us with God. He came for this, to unite us to God by freeing us from our sins through his death on the cross. Then he rose from the dead for our illumination, so that we might walk in his light, the light of his resurrection, the light of a new and redeemed life in him, the light of a new creation, and so become new men in him. Then through the gift of the Holy Spirit, Christ the Son remains with us and continues to unite us to the Father.

If we love Christ, we will be loved by the Father, and Christ will manifest himself to us. "He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him" (John 14:21). Mary did this, as she carried Jesus in her womb on her journey from Galilee to Judah. She loved the Son of God within her, intimately united to him both physically and spiritually, and so was loved by the Father. And the Son manifested himself to her in the joy of her soul and spirit. Every believer can now do the same. If we know Christ through faith, prayer, and love, we will also know the Father. "If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him" (John 14:7). "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). Why? Because "I am in the Father and the Father in me" (John 14:10). The end of all this is union with God: "I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you" (John 14:20). If Christ is in the Father, and we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, then we are in the Father through Christ. Union with Christ leads us to union with the Father. We can therefore rejoice with Mary in our union with Christ, who unites us to the Father in love.

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