Monday, 12 September 2022 : 24th 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)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we listened to the words of the Scriptures, we are also reminded that today we mark yet another celebration of Mary, the Mother of God, after her Nativity celebrations just a few days ago. Today we mark the celebration of her Most Holy Name, the name that even the devil and other demons and evil spirits fear, for this is the name of the Woman through whom the salvation of the whole world had come from, in the person of Jesus Christ her Son, the Lord and Saviour of all the whole world. Through Mary, her obedience to God and active participation in the works of God’s salvation, the Lord had made our salvation into a tangible reality.

In our first reading today, we heard from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Church and the faithful in Galatia or Ephesus, with regards to the coming of the salvation of this world in Jesus Christ, Son of God, Who assumed the likeness and the tangible reality of human flesh by the will of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, and borne into this world through the womb of His mother Mary, who therefore became the Mother of God. Through Mary’s obedience and faith in the Lord, and her willingness to follow the will and commandments of God, and by entrusting herself totally to the Lord, she has actively participated therefore in the works of God’s salvation. Mary has brought the Saviour Himself into this world.

That perfect obedience which she had shown to the Lord and to all of us was indeed the perfect contrast with what the devil managed to get our ancestors to do, in disobeying the Lord’s commands and in causing our ancestors, both Adam and Eve, to succumb to the temptations of their pride and desire. The devil, Satan, the great enemy tempted man with the temptations of knowledge, glory and power, by saying that should they eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then they would become like God Himself, knowing all things good and evil. That allure for knowledge, power and glory was too much for them.

However, the devil could not have his way with Mary, who humbly submitted to the will of God, listening to Him and obeying Him wholeheartedly, just as she said to the Lord through the Archangel Gabriel, ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to Your Word.’ That is the solemn profession of her faith, commitment and dedication by which Mary showed that she is truly one worthy of bearing the Messiah, the Saviour of the whole world. That while our ancestors rebelled against God, and while Eve succumbed to the temptations of Satan in disobeying God’s words, Mary as the New Eve obeyed the Lord perfectly and completely.

That is why rightfully, Satan feared Mary so much, just as he feared her Son all the more. Satan feared Mary because he was unable to have his way with her, and he was unable to tempt her, being one that is full of the grace of God and full of love and obedience to Him, full of commitment to her Son, following Him throughout His life and ministry, even right up to the foot of His Cross. Mary showed us all what a true believer and follower of God should do, in following the commandments of the Lord and in doing God’s will. Through her faith and humble obedience, Mary has struck fear to the heart of the devil and the other evil spirits.

That is why the mention of Mary’s name alone would have made the devil to run away, and the demons and evil spirits to scatter, because invoking her name means that we put ourselves to her care and we call on her for her powerful intercession, just as she has constantly pleaded on our behalf before her Son’s Throne all this time. Ever since we have been entrusted by the Lord to His own Mother, and she has been entrusted to us as our Mother, Mary has always reached out to us and showed us her love and concern. That was why she made so many appearances, calling on us, her beloved children to stop sinning and return towards the Lord.

That is yet just another reason why Satan and the other evil spirits fear Mary all the more, because she has managed to bring so many souls away from their clutches and dominion, through her ceaseless dedication to us, through her loving examples and faith, through her inspiration and role model and through the Holy Rosary that she herself has instituted and given to us, by which many people found their way back to the Lord, to His grace and salvation. That is why each and every one of us are called to look up upon our beloved Mother Mary, and follow her examples in faith and ask her to intercede for our sake, we who are sinners and are in need of her help, and in need of the mercy and forgiveness from her Son, Our Lord and Saviour. Let us invoke her most holy name with faith, to defend us from the attacks of the evil one.

May the Lord continue to watch over us all, and may the constant intercession and guidance that His mother Mary has shown us continue to help us in our journey towards Him. May all Christians everywhere always be inspired to live their lives in obedience to God just as Mary herself had done. May God bless us always in all things, and may He continue to guide and strengthen us in all things, and help us to persevere through the many challenges of life. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us too, and listen to us when we call upon your most holy name, and protect us from the evil ones. Amen.

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