|Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on May 6, 2019 at 8:10 PM|
St. Mark's Parish in Wheaton, IL, held a reception on May 5th in honor of our Fr. Anthony, who recently retired from offering weekend assistance there after 32 years of doing so. Fr. Anthony preached at the Mass before the reception. He spoke of the blessings that Christ left us with, especially the gift of His mother. Our thanks to St. Mark's Parish for the lovely celebration for Fr. Anthony. Fr. Anthony's sermon from the Mass on May 5th is listed below the photos.
(Sermon from Fr. Anthony Jacob on May 5, 2019, St. Mark's Parish)
O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to Thee. [This prayer was always at the beginning for planning any parish homily or sermon for all 32 years.]
For my last time speaking here at St. Mark, I will not speak on any of the 3 Sunday readings but on an inheritance we all share – priests and people. It’s not an inheritance that will pay down a mortgage or help pay a college tuition for a son or daughter. It’s even more valuable than that kind of gift. We have a share in a last will and testament, all of us.
As Our Lord suffered while He was dying on the cross, He spoke seven times. Each of these seven is by tradition called a “word” even though each may be a sentence or more in length. All seven are termed Christ’s Seven Last Words (The Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen spoke on them for many years.). Although all of Our Lord’s gifts to us can be seen as Our inheritance, His last words constitute a poignant Last Will and Testament. The Third Last Word will be for our reflection today.
Our Lord spoke this way in His Third Word: “Woman behold your son – Son, behold your Mother”. It’s easy to say Jesus was providing for the care of His Mother before He left this earth. The “Beloved Disciple”, too, would, have the prayers, the concern, and the wisdom of Blessed Mary. This is far, far from the depth of the full meaning.
As the Venerable Bishop Sheen reminds us the understanding of the meaning starts back in the book of Genesis. The woman there called “mother of all the living” really lost the title in the full sense. Mary through her suffering at the foot of the cross regained it as Mother of all the Living in the new regenerated race gained by Her Son.
Behind the name John of the beloved disciple at the foot of the cross was my name and your name, and millions of names of those that would come down in time from Cavalry's hill to our own day, and would continue until the last trumpet blast. We have a Mother who can call us by name, and loves us more than we love ourselves.
We should call upon her every day. We should especially call upon her in difficult times. St. Bernard who loved Mary with all his heart saw her as the guiding star of a ship at sea. In one of his homilies he urges us to do this: “ – do not turn your eyes away from this shining star, unless you want to be overwhelmed by the hurricane. If temptation storms, or you fall upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the star: Call upon Mary! - If anger or avarice or the desires of the flesh dash against the ship of your soul, turn your eyes to Mary.”
Let us always call upon Mary, Our Mother.