CYCLE II: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: MARY’S INTERVENTION IN JESUS’ MINISTRY OF SALVATION: A CASE FOR HYPERDULIA!
BY: Fr. Benedict Agbo
HOMILY: * Mic 7: 14 -20, Matt 12: 46 – 50.
Mary has never deflected any iota of praise mearnt for Jesus or God but has always reenforced it. She is the first in the order of faithful servants of the Most High God – those who hear the Word of God and keep it. Just look at her ‘fiat’!,Lk 1 : 38. She is the highest leader of praise singers of Jesus and God (otinkpuJesu). Just look at her ‘magnificat’!,Lk 1 : 42 – 48. She is the highest paradigm of obedience to Gods will and she is second to none in her accolade as ‘mediatrix of all graces’. She told the wedding celebrants at Cana: ‘Do whatever He tells you’ just to prove a point that she is never an opportunist but an ardent collaborator in the realization of the Divine will.
According to St Louis de Montfort, ‘All the true Children, the Chosen ones of heaven, have God for their Father and Mary for their mother. Whoever does not have Mary for his mother does not have God for his Father’ (True Devotion to Mary, p. 10). Jesus made it so when hanging upon the Cross he insisted on saying to John, his beloved apostle: ‘Son, Behold your mother…Mother, behold your Son’, In 19: 27. Mary is the leader of the angelic warriors of heaven. St Louis put it this way: ‘God has declared only one war; but it is an eternal war; and He fights it relentlessly and without any kind of forgiveness… It is the war between Mary and the devil; between the children and servants of Mary and the children and servants of Lucifer’. He goes to say, ‘The anger, the hatred and the power of God are, of course, infinitely greater than those of Mary. But Satan finds her more fearsome. Being such a proud spirit, he suffers awful shame at being defeated and punished by such a humble little servant of God’ (Op. cit.,p. 20).
Looking at Mary’s intervention in today’s gospel in the middle of Jesus’ ministry and Jesus’ question/ reaction: ‘Who is my mother…?, we therefore make a case not of repudiation or deflection in her dignity/honour but a case for HYPERDULIA – highest of honour. Jesus actually wanted to let them know that her mother was gonno be honoured not merely for her biological roles of maternity but for her theological roles of exemplary life of faith, humility and intercession, Lk 11: 27. She is the mother of priests and all those who honour Jesus. Scott Hahn gave this insight that those who feel Catholics are worshipping Mary are actually those who see worship only as songs or spoken words. For Catholics who see worship as sacrifice, we know that we have no sacrifice of Mary but only the sacrifice of Jesus which we celebrate at every mass. Mary does not distract this but joins us in it.
May God bless you today!
-Fr. Benedict Agbo