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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Thursday of the 19th Week in the Ordinary Time Download This Homily

August 15, 2019

Thursday of the 19th Week in the Ordinary Time


Rev. 11:19; 12:1-6.10,

Psalm 45:10, 11, 12, 16

I Cor. 15:20-27

Lk 1:39-56

 

 

Gospel Reading

 

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."

And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever."

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

 

Reflection

 

The Assumption of Our Blessed Mother

&

Independence Day

 

It is not very rare that we hear children complaining that the parents and elders do not understand them. The message they want to convey is: they do not have freedom; there is too much parental control and other restrictions; they are not allowed to enjoy life. So quite early on during their school life, they begin the countdown, anticipating a life of freedom during the college days. College life means, greater exposure to the real world, more pocket money and less probing questions from the parents and teachers. So once the freedom sets in, they bathe in that fully. Freedom is understood here in a very particular sense. For many people, freedom means to fully involve oneself in the possibilities, funs and joys of the present; Freedom means to so fully live today and now, completely forgetting yesterdays and completely unconcerned about tomorrows.

 

Think of the nine of the ten lepers of the Gospel story (Lk 17:11-19) who were cured by Jesus on their way back from an encounter with Jesus. Their life until now was a life without freedom, a life without opportunities, a life without dreams and a life without ability to fulfil their responsibilities towards their families. The cure meant that for the first time a present, a now with possibilities, opportunities and freedom opened itself before them. It is quite unlikely that they rushed to a pub to enjoy a drink. What is rather more likely is that they rushed to their homes to meet their dear ones, whom they had been missing for years. On the way they may have stopped by some shops to purchase some little gifts for their dear ones. So apparently they are not selfish people who mind themselves only. Here is a bunch of nine people who rush to begin living their life – for themselves, for their wives, for their husbands and for their children.

 

Yet Jesus is disappointed and even shows it. What is the reason for his complaint?  It is not Jesus’ case that these people are living irresponsibly. His complaint is that these people are not able to see and remember the episodes leading to the episode that is now playing in their life. In other words, they have no sense of history, nor have they any sensitivity for that. The past has at best an annoying or disturbing value only. 

 

In the Gospel story of the lepers, it is Jesus who ends up excluded and disappointed. In my own story, possibly there are many others who feel similarly excluded and disappointed. Let us reflect: In the course of last one month, how many people sitting in different corners of the world may have thought of me with a pain of disappointment because I drew very narrow boarders for my world and excluded them from that? May be, it is my old parents or my grand parents or teachers or old friends and acquaintances … Are there people who contributed greatly with their sweat, sleepless nights, prayers and money in the yester years to bring me to the glory of today and yet feel completely left out of our thoughts and care?

 

In contrast to this, see Mary in the Gospel today. Elizabeth ignites a great party of celebration with her unrestrained praise of Mary. “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” But Mary keeps her balance. She does not lose herself in the excitement of the now and the present. Even from within that charged atmosphere of excitement, she looks back, indeed looks long back and sees vividly the mighty hand of God that moulded her. Not just that. She sees vividly the mighty hand of God that worked through generations of her ancestors, raising some and lowering some.

A person has no great future if he or she has no sense of his or her history; a family has no great future if it has no sense of history. So too a culture or nation.

 

The feast of the assumption of our Blessed Mother and the celebration of the Independence Day of our nation provide us opportunity to reflect on two levels.

 

First, we should reflect at a personal level. Even as I immerse myself in the discharging of my responsibilities, celebrating my achievements and preparing for my future challenges, have I uncharitably let some people and events disappear from my consciousness?  People and events that have actually made me.

 

Second, as a nation, are we grateful to those heroic people in our history whose sacrifice gifted us our freedom? Have the misdeeds and misadventures of the people gone before us made us wiser? Have the stories we heard of their heroic toils made us more resolute in our path of greater commitment to truth and love?

 

Dr. George Kulangara CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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