Walking with the Afflicted

(December 8, 2019)

Bottom line: Asking Mary's intercession to walk with the afflicted and lowly, I now ask you to give your full attention to our CCS witness speaker.

This year the Second Sunday of Advent falls on December 8, the traditional day of Mary's Immaculate Conception. Sometimes people confuse the Immaculate Conception of Mary with the Virginal Conception of Jesus. Let me sum up the difference:

Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary is his mother but he has no human father. Joseph is his guardian or foster father. Mary has a human father called Joachim and a human mother, Ann. Her conception was natural. However:

While Jesus is without sin by virtue of being God, Mary is without original sin by virtue of "prevenient grace". Like us Mary is saved by Jesus.

What the Israelites said about Judith applies to Mary:

"You are the glory of Jerusalem!
You are the great pride of Israel!
You are the great boast of our nation! " (Judith 15:9)

Even though Mary is highly exalted, she doesn't seem to spend much time with the rich and famous. She identifies with the lowly and afflicted. In her canticle she declares:

"He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty." Luke 1: 51-53

Like Mary we want to identify with the lowly. Not in some political way as if by our power we could bring about the Kingdom of God. Instead we want to walk with the afflicted - practice what Pope Francis calls "accompaniment". In our parish we do it through our St. Vincent de Paul. This Sunday we have commissioning of our St. Vincet de Paul members.

Also on the Second Sunday of Advent we have an annual presentation on Catholic Community Services. On our behalf CCS reaches out to underserved in Snohomish County and throughout the Archdiocese of Seattle.

Before introducing our CCS speaker let's recall the verse from today's Psalm:

For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.

Asking Mary's intercession to walk with the afflicted and lowly, I now ask you to give your full attention to our CCS witness speaker:_________________________. Amen.


Resisting Happiness Week 2 - Tourist or Pilgrim? (Audio homily for Second Sunday of Advent, Year A 2016)

Faith & Inclusion (Audio homily for Second Sunday of Advent, Year A 2013)

Spanish Version

From Archives (Homilies for Second Sunday of Advent Year A):

2016: Resisting Happiness Week 2: Tourist or Pilgrim?
2013: Faith & Inclusion
2010: Silence, Sin, Spirit
2007: That We Might Have Hope
2004: The Leopard, the Lion and the Wolf
2001: Change Your Life!
1998: Holy Spirit and Fire

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

Parish Picture Album


MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru