As you probably know, during the past month,
many of us have been reading together the book,
Thirty-three Days to Morning Glory,
all in preparation for making a consecration to Jesus through Mary, after this Mass,
or after the 11 am Mass tomorrow.
I realize not everyone here will participate, and that’s OK.
You may want to make your consecration privately,
or on your own timetable.
But for those who will be staying after Mass tonight
or coming for the consecration after the 11 am Mass,
here are a few particulars.
We’ll pause a few minutes, as folks make their exit.
I’ll have some business to tend to in the back of church.
Then I’ll come back into church, and I have some papers to pass out.
It will have the prayers we’ll pray together,
and it will also give you a copy of the consecration
you can sign and keep for yourself.
From what I can gather from the cards turned back in,
it looks like maybe 50 to 100 folks will take part in the consecration.
And I assume many others will do so on their own.
By the way, I also want to mention that many said
they’d like to be part of a Militia Immaculata prayer group;
and I’ll follow up with each of you on that in the next couple of weeks.
I’m excited, because I believe this will bear great fruit for our parish,
and for each person taking part.
But what does a “Marian Consecration” mean?
Well, let me first point out what it does not mean.
It doesn’t mean that after today, you will no longer face
struggles in prayer, or in finding time to learn the Faith,
or against temptation.
This consecration doesn’t replace the daily tasks of the spiritual life.
Rather, what we are doing is inviting Mary
to take a special role in helping us in our spiritual lives, going forward.
Some people may not be entirely sold on this – and that’s OK!
No one has to do this. This is an opportunity, not an obligation.
But I might mention, that whether you like it or not,
Mary already is taking a role in your spiritual life!
Today we honor her as Mother of God, and so she is:
This affirms that her Son is not only certainly and 100% human,
having taken flesh from Mary herself –
but he is also divine: True God from true God, begotten, not made.
Yet there is more! Mary is not only Jesus’ mother, she is ours.
Jesus himself says so.
He said that whoever hears and keeps the word of God,
is his mother, and brother and sister.
And he tells us that we are members of his Body.
Jesus came to make us one with him, and one with the Holy Trinity.
Remember the quote I shared on Christmas?
“God became man so that men might become God.”
And of course we remember that Jesus himself
gave Mary to us as mother at the cross, when he said,
“Behold your mother,” and to Mary, he said, “behold your son.”
That means each of us! Without doubt, from the first instant
Mary became aware that she would conceive
and give birth to the Messiah – as soon as she became a mother –
all her thought and prayer was on this mission.
It occurred to me the other day that when she was a girl,
Mary surely realized there was something special about her.
We don’t know exactly what she knew, or how much,
but she knew something.
She could see that her parents were older when they had her.
Surely Joachim and Ann must have told her all they knew.
Mary saw that she was an only child.
And then her parents brought her to the temple.
She must have realized she was powerfully graced,
long before the Archangel called her, “Full of Grace.”
So when Gabriel said, you are to bear the Messiah,
I just wonder if that’s when all the lights starting going on for Mary?
And she realized, Ah! THIS is what it’s all been about!
Maybe this is one reason Mary was preserved from Original Sin.
Imagine being her, realizing how everything, from the very beginning,
from Adam and Eve, down through the centuries, all led to YOU?
That you were at the hinge of all history?
That you were chosen to be the God-bearer?
What a colossal temptation that could have been!
So instead of it being all about her: “Look at me! I’m the Queen!”
Instead, Mary is all about being mother –
to Jesus, and all that would be begotten by faith in him.
“Mother” isn’t just a title – it is who she is; not just one child,
but all the brothers and sisters of Jesus.
Whether you knew it or not, she has been involved with you, with me,
from the beginning – from before the beginning!
So what is this consecration? It is our response.
Mary already has given her all to Jesus, and to us.
For 33 days, we’ve been praying and preparing
so you and I can take this moment to imitate her giving all.
We want to be like her, the most devoted disciple of Jesus.
She is always at his side; so if we stay with her,
that’s where you and I are sure to be.
And if you’re here, and listening, and wishing you’d taken part, fret not!
Some of the books are still at the exits; or you can order a copy;
And you too can start the journey
to your own consecration to Mary our Mother whenever you wish.