- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

October 6, 2019

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO

26th Saturday in Ordinary Time
Baruch 4: 5 – 12, 27 – 29; Ps 69; Luke 10: 17 – 24

Today on the first Saturday in October we celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her immaculate heart surely connotes for us her chastity but it is never just chastity for the sake of being chaste. It is the fullness of chastity – a life entirely focused, centered on God. We are reminded of her canticle: “My souls magnifies the Lord; my spirit finds joy in God my Savior.”

In a word, her immaculate heart is a receptive heart, a heart ready and willing to receive favorably. We need to recall only one scene – the Annunciation – to the Angel Gabriel’s invitation, her response is powerful in its simplicity “Let it be done as you say” – and it marked all her life, she is in her own words “the Handmaid of the Lord.”

In her graced receptivity, her focused life she is a model, an example for us – we who are baptized into her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Through our Baptism, received and lived out, we are always receivers – by being receivers we give honor and devotion to Mary because imitation is the best devotion.

In this Mass we receive the Lord Jesus in the Holy Eucharist – the greatest act of receptivity in this life. But this act we make with desire as we will in this Mass stands as a sign, a reminder, a call that my, your life as a person of faith is always a life of receptivity; the Lord gives us Himself and desires us to receive – this is at the heart of our Catholic faith. We hear it in Psalm 34 – “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”

At the conclusion of today’s Gospel Jesus proclaimed, “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal Him.” We are the “anyone” the Son wishes to reveal the Father and surely we wish to receive this revelation – never a revelation alone of information – rather a revelation of Presence (capital “P”) – a Presence of love, of mercy, of infinite compassion – how can we not desire this?