Today’s Feast has nothing to do with the Virgin birth but it honors Mary as the only human (outside Jesus, God Himself) who was never scarred by Original Sin. The conviction that Mary was born without sin is rooted in the angelic greeting we hear in the Gospel: “Hail, full of grace.” Like every Marian Feast, today’s celebration points to God, because it was to God that Mary’s attention was always turned. We need to follow her example.
Scholars have pointed out that in the Synoptic Tradition that Jesus’ ministry can be divided into three phases: Galilean ministry that ends with the feeding of the 5,000; the ministry in the area of the “Decapolis” ending with the feeding of the 4,000; and the Jerusalem ministry ending with the Last Supper. All 3 ministries end in Jesus feeding others. He still feeds us today at every mass in the Eucharist.
Some thoughts for Thanksgiving Day. “The worst moment for an atheist is when he or she is grateful and doesn’t know who to thank.” Wendy Ward “What can I offer the Lord for all His goodness to me?” Psalm 116:12 “God has two dwellings. One is in heaven; the other in a meek and thankful heart.” Izaak Walton “I will proclaim His greatness by giving Him thanks.” Psalm 69:30 “Sing praise to the Lord, all His faithful people! Remember what the Holy One has done, and give Him thanks!” Psalm 30:4
Despite everything, we have much to give thanks to God for. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Today’s readings invite us to ask ourselves: what would we ask of Jesus should he appear suddenly? “What do you want me to do for you?” What would you ask for?
Today’s Gospel reminds us that we all need to transfer our focus from whatever entices us to what it takes to build up the Kingdom. If we bury our lives in idle pursuits, we will wind up like the third servant, trapped in darkness outside. Today’s readings remind us to live as children of light, continuing God’s own investment in us. Only by doing this can we prepare ourselves to share in the fullness of God’s joy.
“The Kingdom of God is among you.” it is the teaching and ministry of Jesus that manifests the coming of God’s Kingdom. It is here but not yet fulfilled. It will be fulfilled at Jesus’ Second Coming. We live between the two comings. We need to work to help bring the Kingdom about. What are you doing?
St. Leo the Great was one of the most influential Popes and started the Papacy down the road of what it would become in the Middle Ages and Modern Times. He fought heresies, settled a major dispute in the Eastern Church (“Peter has spoken through Leo”, defended the city of Rome from being vandalized, and left us many sermons on the faith. For the latter he was declared a “Doctor of the Church.”