Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
This past weekend, Fr. Robert Karris, OFM, of St. Bonaventure’s University, preached at all of the Masses on behalf of Food for the Poor.
Food for the Poor has a channel on YouTube where they post videos and brief documentaries that chronicle their work. The video here tells the story of a community development, El Corte, that Food for the Poor has helped to build along the border area between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Click below to hear Fr. Karris’s appeal.
How lovely is your dwelling place . . . somewhere in there . . . and still behind scaffolding.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you;
blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
“Immaculate Mary, your praises we sing, you reign now in splendor with Jesus, our King. Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave Maria!”
Who doesn’t know this hymn by heart? It’s one of the first we learn as children. As the official hymn of the Marian shrine at Lourdes, pilgrims sing it there daily, and their voices are echoed around the world as Christians render honor and devotion to the Immaculate Mother of the Savior. “Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave Maria!”
Because Mary identified herself to Bernadette Soubirous as the “Immaculate Conception,” we relish on this Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes in Mary’s sinlessness as the hope and refuge of the human race. Preserved at the moment of her conception from the stain of Adam’s sin, Mary emerged from her mother’s womb fit for the divine maternity that awaited her, and because of this hidden grace she was destined to become the closest companion her Son would have, both on earth and in heaven, in the unfolding his salvific mission.
Ever free from sin, Mary, with Christ, wields a power over sin and death that not only reveals to us our destiny—in her we see our future glory—but also shows us the way to attaining it. Under the refuge provided by her sinless mantle, we sinners find the strength and protection to undergo the sometimes painful transformation by grace offered us through friendship with Christ. When we pick up our cross to follow Jesus, Mary meets us on the way, as she met her Son, to suffer and to rejoice, as the hope of salvation finds fulfillment in us. Sinless by grace, she, too, crushes the serpent’s head in us.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Click here for a great resource page on the history behind today’s feast.
God of mercy,
we celebrate the feast of Mary,
the sinless mother of God.
May her prayers help us
to rise above our human weakness.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.