Fr. Hardon’s 3 Mysteries Locked behind the Feast of the Presentation of Mary
Father Hardon gave this sermon on the Feast of the Presentation, 1990. It was a Wednesday that year.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Lady, at about the age of three, was taken by her parents, and that her parents had presented her and left her in the temple, and dedicated her to God.
There are three mysteries locked behind today’s feast.
First of all, Mary’s immaculate conception.
Secondly, Our Lady’s perpetual virginity.
And thirdly, Our Lady’s dedication to the service of God.
The feast that we celebrate today, a presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is not only the commemoration of an event in Our Lady’s life, it is also the commemoration of Our Lady, who because she was not conceived in sin, she had extraordinary capacity for giving herself to God.
All of us were conceived in sin. Though at baptism, we are restored to God’s friendship. However, Our Lady, not being conceived in sin, had from her earliest infancy extraordinary capacity for knowing God’s will and giving herself to God.
Secondly, the Church’s tradition identifies the feast of the presentation with Mary’s dedicating her virginity from early childhood to God. We have examples in the lives of the saints, for example, the little flower, from the tenderest age, being wise enough, enlightened by the grace of God, to know that God would be pleased by her vowing herself to a life of virginity. That’s Our Lady.
Thirdly, dedication. We in our society do not normally associate even average, let alone above average intelligence with children. Well it happens that over the centuries the Church has raised to the honors of the altar even young children. The more blessed by grace a person is, the more able that person is from the tenderest years to recognize God’s will and then to choose it. Our Lady, therefore, being conceived without sin, was capable of both recognizing God’s will and being able to choose it at a very early age.
Our Lady’s presentation, therefore, tells us how this needs to be known. There is nothing, nothing which blinds the human mind or weakens the human will more than sin. Mary, the Mother of God, being conceived without sin, had extraordinary ability to know God’s will and then the strength to do it.
One closing lesson. There is a secret, a secret to great achievement on one condition, that like Our Lady, we protect ourselves from sin from the earliest years.
Dear Mother Mary, obtain for us something of your great ability to know God’s will from your youngest years and then generously giving yourself for a lifetime to doing that will. Amen.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.Hardon, John A. S.J. Homily delivered at Mass Nov 21, 1990.
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