-Last Sunday's homily is available by email
-This Sunday's Scriptures can be found at www.usccb.org
-check out this week's LinC Letter on the back of the parish bulletin or at www.saint-albert.org/lincletter
-I will be celebrating 4th Sunday of Advent at 4pm mass on Saturday evening, Christmas Eve Mass at 4:00pm on Sunday Evening, and Christmas Mass at 12:30 on Monday (also 10pm Christmas Eve on Sunday night in Hinckley, OLG)
Poor banished children of Eve
As we listen to the Annunciation story on this fourth Sunday of Advent I have been reflecting upon the prayer of the Salve Regina-hail, holy queen. Not that the hail holy Queen is a Christmas prayer however the perspective of the prayer is the Incarnation - The central mystery of Christmas.
The beautiful line that I am thinking of refers to our being “poor banished children of Eve, sighing and mourning in this valley of tears". It is quite typical and understandable that in our lack of faith our vision can be distracted to noticing the valley of tears. However, the beautiful prayer goes on to announce how we are to interpret our daily life and what we ought to be focused on, that is, “show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus“.
This seems to me to be an image of not only the dominant misunderstood Catholic anthropology but also of the good news of our Christmas spirituality, meaning Emanuel. The human family celebrates most days of the year from a suffering-broken-humanity perspective, what they call in seminary class anthropology (the understanding of the human person) . Almost all of us almost all the time are noticing, mourning over, medicating, avoiding or sighing about the pains of life-the valley of tears. I do and have always very clearly blamed the power of evil and our broken humanity’s propensity to sin for the pain, sickness, suffering, and death in life. God did not create us for these things, we chose it. You remember the great letter to the Romans, "through sin, death entered the world“. Enough said.
I was recently in a conversation with somebody about “What is God doing? Or why is God allowing all of this pain and suffering in our lives?” This misperception of God‘s role in our suffering completely ignores Original Sin, the “children of Eve” reality. If God is being blamed for all of the difficulties, pains, & conflicts of daily life, he cannot be simultaneously perceived as the comforting, consoling, and empowering presence of God with us, Emanuel.
That’s why the Hail Holy Queen prayer is applicable to this misperception and to this Christmas season. If we are going to survive as the children of God and as believers being a light to the world we must acknowledge and recognize broken human condition as a result of the temptation and embrace of evil and sin ( remember: children of Eve) so that we can be on the lookout for God‘s presence with us ( show onto us the fruit of thy womb, Jesus). What Emanuel, the fruit of Mary‘s womb, is celebrating at Christmas is that we are to fix our eyes on God‘s presence with us in the valley of tears accompanying, guiding and leading us to holy and eternal life. That’s peace!
Just a thought
Get into the ring! How this works...
This is easy! Each week on Thursday I post my homily idea...my main focus for preaching this coming Sunday. What I am hoping for is a reaction from people in the pews. Does my "focus" connect with your daily life, faith, and experience? Or not? Either affirm the direction I am going in (by giving me an example from your life) or challenge me, ask for clarification! Questions are the best! Reaction rather than reflection is what I'm looking for here. Don't be afraid, get in the ring. Ole!