Saturday, 12 September 2020 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Most Holy Name of Mary or Saturday Mass of Our Lady)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, celebrated not long after the celebration of her Nativity just a few days ago. And this is also parallel to what we celebrate on her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, as we celebrate the feast of Our Lord’s Most Holy Name the week after Christmas, His birth into the world.

And we may be wondering then, what is it there in a name? And we will be surprised to note that name is something which is very significant, that symbolises identity and truth about someone and something. No longer will it be indistinct and unremarkable, for a name can make great difference. For simple example, none of us knows the names of the billions of peoples who lived throughout the millennia of our human existence, as each of these were not prominent enough, and known each only by their own relatives and close families.

But we can clearly remember the names of famous rulers, kings, personalities, famous peoples and scientists, many of whom had departed this world many years, decades and even centuries and millennia ago. This is because their names are powerful reminder, an identity that invoke the memory of that person’s achievements, greatness, all the deeds he or she had done. In the same way, a great criminal and enemy of humanity throughout history had also been remembered this way, with even mere mention of the name could bring up chilling reminder and memories of the terrible things and deeds the person had committed.

In this same manner therefore, whenever we utter the Name of Our Lord Jesus and that of His mother, Mary, do we actually realise that we have just invoked the great power of the Almighty God, and that of the powerful intercession of His mother? And yet, many of us have not treated their Name with the proper care and respect needed, but we often took these Holy Names for granted, or use them in vain, inappropriately and without proper respect.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, do we realise that Satan himself would tremble at the mere mention of the name of Mary, God’s own mother, the mother of our Lord and Saviour. Satan would flee and not remain as he could not stand before the mother of God, through whom his final defeat and loss had been guaranteed for all eternity, for Mary is the promised Woman, that from the beginning of time God had promised that Satan would be defeated and crushed at the feet of the Woman.

Not only that Mary remained uncorrupt and righteous throughout her life, but her obedience to God has been feared by Satan ever since the beginning, as she was not under his dominion and power, without the corruption and taint of sin, and with the faith and obedience that was unshakeable, her love and devotion to her Son that was so complete. Mary is the antithesis of Eve, the new Eve that unlike the first Eve, Satan was unable to shake, tempt and make to fall into sin.

And even more importantly, through her acceptance and humble obedience to the will of God, Mary became the Mother of God, through whom the salvation of this world has come, the Light came which dispelled the darkness of sin and evil, and from whom, the path to Satan’s ultimate defeat had been paved and made clear. Naturally, therefore, just as Satan definitely trembled at the mere mention and utterance of the Holy Name of God. The name of His beloved mother would make him to fear and flee as well, especially when uttered with faith.

And as we call upon the name of Mary, in fact we are also calling upon her, who is our loving and caring mother. When we call upon her name, it is indeed like a child calling and yearning for the mother, for protection, love, comfort and assurance. Let us all look upon our mother Mary, and call upon her to help us in our struggle against evil, and that she may continue to intercede and pray for us all. Let us all not be fearful of evil any more, for our blessed mother is by our side, and her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, loves us even more.

Let us also be inspired by the faithful examples showed by Mary, in her faithful life, her obedience and commitment to the Law of God and to the mission which He has entrusted to her. Let us all be faithful and be good Christians in the way that our blessed mother has showed us by her actions. Let us all seek to be closer to God through His mother Mary, and commit ourselves anew to a life dedicated to the Lord, rejecting the temptations of sin and evil.

O Holy Mother of God, Mary, our loving mother, pray for us all sinners, and be with us always, that we may draw much inspiration from your dedication and the love you showed to your Son. Help us to be always ever faithful, and ever righteous despite the many trials and temptations in our path. May the Lord bless us all and may He grant us the strength to love Him in each and every moments of our lives. Amen.

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