Monday, September 15, 2008

Love Makes It Possible

click on the picture to enlarge it and read the Stabat Mater

By Monsignor Dennis Clark, Ph.D.

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

1 Cor 11:17-26, 33 / Jn 19:25-27 or Lk 2:33-35

One of the most astonishing things one can ever witness is the exchange of vows between a bride and groom. Before God and the church they speak an absolute “yes” to each other, for better or worse, for the rest of their lives, without knowing what the mix of better or worse will be as the decades pass one after another. Yet they speak their “yes” with glad hearts. Is it sheer ignorance or inexperience that lets them do that? In part, it is. But in most cases there’s something more, and that is a conviction that the one thing that makes life human and worth living is committed love that doesn’t count the cost. They’re saying, “we’ll take the risk and pay the price because we want a real life and not just a shadow.”

Nowhere are the consequences of a simple “yes” spoken long ago more visible than in today’s gospel: Mary who said “yes” to God while still a teenager now stands in silence at the foot of her son’s cross. And her answer to God is still “yes”.

Almost all of us have spoken our key “yeses” to God at the time of marriage, or ordination, or at the birth of children, and at many other times besides. And now most of us stand somewhere in the middle of living out our “yeses”. Doing so can at times be painful, distressing, or just simply boring, and our “yes” can grow faint. That’s when we need to remember why we spoke our “yes” in the first place: because we loved and we knew that love alone can bring us life.

Love for Jesus and confidence in God’s love for her kept Mary from despair and carried her to Easter morning. Easter will come for every one of us if we let God love us through the darkness.