Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Marian feasts)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel, a particularly renowned devotion to Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is known primarily for the distinctive brown scapular that our Lady had asked those who devote themselves to her to wear. This scapular is the sign of our devotion to the Blessed Mother, which we express through our pious prayers and dedication to the mother of our Lord.
The feast today is celebrating the patroness of the Carmelite religious order, which was established in the region of Mount Carmel in the Holy Land during the era of the Crusades, nearly a thousand years ago. The Carmelites were a religious group who was truly devoted to the Lord through their devotion to God’s people and through their devotion to the Most Blessed Mary, mother of God. Their patron is none other than Mary, who was given the title of our Lady of Mount Carmel, a sign of her patronage of the order.
The brown scapular is a sacramental, and its use, with a proper and genuine faith will help mankind who wear it on their path to salvation. But that is exactly why, we cannot simply wear them without genuine and dedicated faith to the Lord, as wearing them without that kind of faith does not do anything good at all. The brown scapular of our Lady of Mount Carmel reminds us in fact, that we need to adhere to the examples shown by Mary herself, and follow her in her piety and faith to God.
For Jesus in the Gospel did not humiliate or chastise Mary and His own relatives when He said the words of how those who do the will of God are His brothers, family and mother. In fact, what Jesus said affirmed the faithfulness and the zealous piety of Mary, and her worthiness to be the very Mother of God, the one who bore Christ the Saviour into this world.
Mary is the greatest and most faithful servant of our Lord, who gave herself up in total surrender to God, especially when the Archangel Gabriel showed himself to her, and announced the Good News of the Lord. She accepted her role faithfully and with complete and full trust in the Lord without even a single hint of hesitation. She willingly allowed herself to play a crucial part in God’s plan of salvation, even though that would eventually bring her to much sorrow.
Mary has been entrusted by our Lord to be our mother as well, when on the cross at Golgotha, He entrusted Mary His mother to the care of John, His disciple, and vice versa, He entrusted John to the care of His own mother, Mary. By this act, mankind had also been entrusted to the loving care of Mary, so that Mary is also our mother and the same love she had shown to Jesus our Lord, she shows to us as well.
As we heard in the Scriptures today, mankind had fallen into a state of self-preservation and self-glorification, trusting more in the own power and might rather than in the power of God. The old kingdoms of Israel and Judah of the Old Testament fell because of their many wicked kings who only thought of themselves and of the powers and the glories of the world. And the contemporaries of Jesus such as the Pharisees and the Sadducees thought only of themselves and their own safety rather than following the will of God through Jesus His Son.
Today, Jesus through His mother calls all of us to repentance and penance, that is to totally change our ways for the better. We ought to abandon our ways of sin and rebelliousness against God, and instead follow the Lord with all of our hearts, just exactly as how Mary had once done when she lived her earthly life in this world. If we follow her examples, we are sure to be safe in our journey towards God.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all remember today as we wear the brown scapular, and all the subsequent days, to consecrate ourselves both to Mary our mother, and to her Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us follow her and walk with her, as she leads us towards the throne of her Son. Let us throw far, far away all pride and arrogance from our hearts, all forms of wicked desires and wants for pleasures, and seek instead the Lord our God with all of our hearts.
May God Almighty, together with the intercession of His Blessed Mother Mary, our Lady of Mount Carmel, bring us ever closer to Him and keep us ever close to. His heart. Amen.