Tuesday, 12 September 2017 : 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)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, in which we honour the Mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, Mary the ever-blessed Virgin, through whom the Saviour of this world has been born to us. And today we celebrate the aspect of her name, which is second only to her own Son, in majesty and power, for even the devil will tremble at the holy name of Mary.

Why is that so, brothers and sisters in Christ? That is because, just as the devil and his forces fear the Lord greatly, and at the Name of Jesus, as St. Paul in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Philippi mentioned, all knees shall bend and bow down before the Lord, and not even the devil can resist that, for after all, for all of his fearsome appearances and attempts to scare us, he is still a mere creature of God, and God has decreed his final defeat.

And the devil also rightly fears Mary, and at the mere uttering of her name, because he knows perfectly that through Mary, his final defeat had come. Through Mary, all of his devices and plans to ruin mankind and to drag many souls into hell have been thwarted, for through her, the world and all mankind have seen their salvation in Jesus Christ, Who came through Mary, born through her.

It was also not just that fact that Mary is the Mother of God that terrorised the devil and his demonic forces, as it was also her faith and dedication to the Lord, as shown in her devotion to her Son Jesus, throughout His whole life and ministry that the devil had seen the failure of all his well-developed plans. Just as the devil was unable to tempt Jesus as shown in his failure to tempt Him three times in the desert, he was also unable to bring down Mary in the same manner.

That is all the more reason for Satan to be terrified at the mere utterance of the holy name of Mary, as is the case for the Name of Jesus our Lord. And he knows just how active and involved Mary is in the salvation of all mankind, for she continues to remind us all, whom Jesus her Son had entrusted to her own care, to be her own adopted children, represented by the entrusting of the Apostle St. John to her as He laid dying on the cross.

Mary had appeared numerous times to the people of God, in various occasions and at various times, especially at times of war, of wickedness and great sins. She appeared to various people, calling them to repentance and to turn away from their sinfulness. She did this so that, through what she had told them, for example in Fatima, which centenary of her apparition there we celebrate this year, she told the three Fatima children of the horrors of hell, and how mankind would end up there should they continue to walk the same path as they had done.

Through her intercession and works among her children, Mary has brought forth many souls who were lost to God and under the clutches of Satan, and freed them so that they might return to the loving embrace of her Son. If only we can have faith in the Lord Jesus through His mother, and love Him wholeheartedly through our love for His mother, surely many of us would not have been lost, and would have been saved.

Therefore, let us all from now on entrust ourselves to the loving care of Mary, our mother, and when challenges and difficulties come our way, let us not be hesitant to ask her for help, that she may intercede for us, and pray for our sake, asking her Son to help us and to provide for us. And when Satan and his temptations, all of his forces come to assail us, let us not worry, but with the fullness of faith, call upon Mary and utter her holy name before all.

For she will come down hard upon Satan, and by the will of her Son, Satan will not have his way, for his final defeat has been affirmed, and he will have absolutely no power or control over any one of us. Let us all therefore, dedicate ourselves ever more to the Lord Jesus, through our devotion to His mother, and loving her all the more, just as she has loved us all and prayed for us all the time. O Blessed Mother Mary, pray for us sinners. Amen.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Most Holy Name of Mary)

Luke 6 : 12-19

At that time, Jesus went out into the hills to pray, spending the whole night in prayer with God. When day came, He called His disciples to Him, and chose Twelve of them, whom He called ‘Apostles’ : Simon, whom He named Peter, and his brother Andrew; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James son of Alpheus and Simon called the Zealot; Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who would be the traitor.

Coming down the hill with them, Jesus stood in an open plain. Many of His disciples were there, and a large crowd of people, who had come from all parts of Judea and Jerusalem, and from the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon. They gathered to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases. And the people troubled by unclean spirits were cured.

The entire crowd tried to touch Him, because of the power that went out from Him and healed them all.

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Luke 1 : 39-47

At that time, Mary then set out for a town in the hill country of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leapt in her womb.

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, giving a loud cry, said, “You are most blessed among women; and blessed is the Fruit of your womb! How is it, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly leapt for joy. Blessed are you, who believed that the Lord’s word would come true!”

And Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God, my Saviour!”

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Most Holy Name of Mary)

Psalm 144 : 1-2, 8-9, 10-11

I will extol You, my God and King; I will praise Your Name forever. I will praise You, day after day; and exalt Your Name forever.

Compassionate and gracious is YHVH, slow to anger and abounding in love. YHVH is good to everyone; His mercy embraces all His creation.

All Your works will give You thanks; all Your saints, o YHVH, will praise You. They will tell of the glory of Your kingdom; and speak of Your power.

Alternative Psalm (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Luke 1 : 46-47, 48-49, 50-51, 52-53, 54-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit exults in God, my Saviour!

He has looked upon His servant, in her lowliness, and people, forever, will call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me. Holy is His Name!

From age to age, His mercy extends to those who live in His presence. He has acted with power and done wonders, and scattered the proud with their plans.

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and lifted up those who are downtrodden. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.

He held out His hand to Israel, His servant, for He remembered His mercy, even as He promised to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 : 23rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Most Holy Name of Mary)

Colossians 2 : 6-15

If you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, let Him be your doctrine. Be rooted and built up in Him; let faith be your principle, as you were taught, and your thanksgiving, overflowing.

See that no one deceives you with philosophy or any hollow discourse; these are merely human doctrines, not inspired by Christ, but by the wisdom of this world. For in Him, dwells the fullness of God, in bodily form. He is the Head of all cosmic power and authority, and, in Him, you have everything.

In Christ Jesus, you were given a circumcision, but not by human hands, which removed completely from you the carnal body : I refer to baptism. On receiving it, you were buried with Christ; and you also rose with Him, for having believed in the power of God, Who raised Him from the dead.

You were dead. You were in sin and uncircumcised at the same time. But God gave you life with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record of our debts, those regulations which accused us. He did away with all that, and nailed it to the cross. Victorious through the cross, He stripped the rulers and authorities of their power, humbled them before the eyes of the whole world, and dragged them behind Him, as prisoners.

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Galatians 4 : 4-7

But when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son. He came, born of woman, and subject to the Law, in order to redeem the subjects of the Law, that we might receive adoption, as children of God. And because you are children, God has sent into your hearts, the spirit of His Son, Who cries out : Abba! that is, Father!

You, yourself, are no longer a slave, but a son or daughter, and yours is the inheritance, by God’s grace.

Alternative reading (Mass of the Most Holy Name of Mary)

Ephesians 1 : 3-6

Blessed be God, the Father of Christ Jesus our Lord, Who, in Christ, has blessed us from heaven, with every spiritual blessing. God chose us, in Christ, before the creation of the world, to be holy, and without sin in His presence.

From eternity He destined us, in love, to be His adopted sons and daughters, through Christ Jesus, thus fulfilling His free and generous will. This goal suited Him : that His loving-kindness, which He granted us His beloved might finally receive all glory and praise.