Homily – Mary, Mother of God

What I am about to tell you is going to absolute shock you. I know, I know. Well, it’s really not all that shocking, but I thought I’d just start that way. I have been told on more than one occasion that I have attitude. Can you believe that? Me? I am sweetness and light. However, I have been told that I have had attitude and I’m not going to say that it was Phil Murray who has told me this.

I am not going to say that, but so has anyone else in the congregation this morning been accused of having attitude? Good. I’m not the only one. However, there is something about that. When we hear the word attitude right away, we add what adjective to that bad. I have a bad attitude. However, also attitude has a very positive sense.

For example, I could say I have the attitude of discipleship and today, whenever we celebrate the solemnity of Mary, we really are celebrating her attitude of discipleship that made her the first disciple of Jesus Christ and for us, a role model of discipleship. So what would Mary’s attitude be of discipleship? Well, all through the Advent season, we heard of Elizabeth and Mary and the service that Mary offered to her cousin.

So first and foremost, a servant attitude is one of service. We are here in the New Year to serve our brothers and sisters. If I asked in today’s gospel reading, What is the attitude of the shepherds? Well, the attitude of the shepherd has to be one of caring concern. The shepherd is taking care of the sheep, and each and every one of us is given the example of the Good Shepherd, Christ, Jesus, the Lord.

And so today, when we hear a gospel about shepherds proclaiming the birth of salvation, our attitude must be theirs. One of care and concern for all of the sheep that make up our church the sheepfold of Jesus Christ. Service care and concern. And then we have the attitude of leadership. We heard from Moses and from Paul this morning.

What was their attitude? Well, they led with truth and justice for everyone, and each and every one of us baptized into the faith, was baptized into that hall of leadership and proclaimed passion of the Gospel. So our attitude of leadership must be that of truth and justice. Isn’t it interesting the next time someone says you have an attitude, we have to ask, Do you mean service, compassion and care, truth and justice for all people?

Because those are the attitudes we celebrate in the New Year. I receive a very interesting message yesterday that I would like to share because it really sums all of this up. The message began. Happy New Year, Father. Welcome to Flight 2024. We are prepared to take off into the New Year. Please make sure your attitude and blessings are secured and locked in an upright position.

All self-destructive devices should be turned off at this time. All negativity hurt and discouragement should be put away and stowed in the overhead compartments. Should we lose altitude under pressure during your flight, reach up and pull down a prayer. Prayers will automatically be activated by faith. Once your faith is out to fight activated, you can assist other passengers.

There will be no baggage allowed on this flight. The captain. God, our father has cleared us for takeoff. Destination greatness. Please repost if you are taking flight with me. Interesting. So that when we talk about this attitude, how many of us are always well prepared to go to the airport? How many of us are well prepared for 2024?

Well, here’s our chance to begin the new Year with the attitude of discipleship. Like Mary, the mother of our Savior and attitude that is of service, caring, concern, leading in truth and justice, proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord. So with that attitude, let us now look to the Eucharist and pray that during 2024 we will truly grow to be the body of Christ here on Earth.