and grow like a cedar of Lebanon
الصديق كالنخل يزهر، ومثل أرز لبنان ينمي
Brothers and Sisters,
Today we arrive at the third station of this Glorious Season with the visitation of our Lady to her cousin Elizabeth. When Mary heard the great news that Elizabeth would bear a child in her old age, her joy in hearing this news together with her love for her cousin drove the also mother-to-be to visit her and to serve her.
Without hesitation, Mary realised that Elizabeth needed her and she used all her strength to travel in the early months of her pregnancy. While she was there, Mary used all her strengths and talents in the service of her cousin. The early months of a pregnancy are typically very hard on the mother-to-be. However, not-withstanding this, Mary remained with Elizabeth for three months until she gave birth to John.
Through the example of Mary we are called to do the same. We are called to give our strengths and talents in the service of our Church. Each one of us is talented in a particular field or discipline and we need to work together and put these in the hands of the Church in the pursuit of holiness and the Kingdom of God.
It doesn’t matter what the strength is. Some of us are talented academically, some professionally, others in music or entertainment, others in cooking, the list is
endless. What is certain though is that we are all equal in the eyes of God and our Church needs us in whatever capacity we can offer.
At times our pride may stand in the way. For example, if I am a doctor or a politician, it may be difficult for me to work on data entry or cleaning. And yes the Church should be more prudent in making use of people’s strengths according to each person’s proper role. However, if we look to the example of Mary again, we see the “Mother of God” leaving everything to cook and clean for and nurture her expecting cousin. Mary is the pinnacle of
humility and we are called to do the same.
Pope Francis’ current visit to Africa is a wonderful example of how he used his strengths and challenged himself, his security and the world in the midst of the turmoil in the countries that he is visiting to bring to them the Word of God.
In our parish there are many people who offer their strengths in the service of their Church. Last Monday many of these people attended the Pastoral Council Meeting to plan for Christmas and other events as one team
united in the example of the Holy Trinity. I encourage all our parishioners to do the same and offer their strengths as a gift to our Lord this year. What are you waiting for, the Church needs you! Our Lord needs you!
Fr Tony Sarkis