HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

Novena for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady (DAY NINE)

HOMILY FOR THE MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary which we celebrate today, was instituted to honor Blessed Virgin Mary for the Christian victory over the Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571. Pope St. Pius V and all Christians had prayed the Rosary for victory. The Rosary, or the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is one of the best prayers to Mary, the Mother of God. “The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium” (St. John Paul II. Rosarium Virginis Mariae – On the Most Holy Rosary). The Church invites all families to pray the Rosary for the mission of the Church and for peace.

In the gospel today (Luke 11: 5-13), Jesus continues to instruct His disciples on approach to prayers. Our persistent lifting up of our petitions to God draws us closer to God and opens our understanding of God’s actions as response to our prayers. We need to ask with expectant faith and confident trust, seek for God’s guidance and help in time of need, and persistently knock at God’s door of mercy and blessings. Is this how I approach God in prayer?

In the first reading (Malachi 3: 13-20), prophet Malachi decried the attitude of the rich who see no need of God because life is moving on well for them. For such arrogance, he said: the day is coming now, burning like furnace; all the arrogant and evil-doers will be like stubble…. leaving them neither root nor stalk”.

Dear friends, “God, who does not sleep and who awakens us from sleep so that we may ask, gives graciously”- St . Augustine . Unlike the rich in Prophet Malachi’s time, if we remain faithful to God, God gives us even more than we may ask. God freely gives us His Holy Spirit so that we can share in God’s divine life, a life of abundant joy and fulfilment.

I pray as we journey in life today, we will be open to the Holy Spirit Who “helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Rm. 8: 26). May we never arrogate to ourselves favours that God has given, rather, in total submission, may we relate with God in confident trust on God’s love and care for us. “Happy indeed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked,… but delights in the law of the Lord. He is like a tree planted beside flowing waters, that yields its fruits in due season” (Ps. 1). Have a fulfulment-full day!

Fr. Francis Onwunali

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