Thirty one years ago when I was a deacon, the ultra-liberal pastor of the parish said that I was up for preaching at all the Masses that weekend, and asked me what I was going to preach about. I said, “The Trinity” since it was the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. “Therefore,” he insisted. “Well, it’s like this,” said I:
- One God
- Two Processions
- Three Persons
- Four Relations
- Five Notions…. etc.
He expressed his disgust with my all too academic approach. I quickly agreed with him, saying that that was a ploy to give an “explanation”[!] that would then hit home all the more. “What’s that?” he asked. “Mary!” I exclaimed. “What?!” he asked with anger. Of course, I was baiting him.
“Since it’s the Marian Year declared by Pope John Paul, I’ll say that Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Daughter of the Father and the Mother of the Son.” At this point the Parochial Vicar joined in the conversation. The Pastor then scoffed and said that I was forbidden for the entire Marian Year to mention Jesus’ good mom, saying that it would be better for me to speak about social justice issues. I rebelled, of course, objecting that Mary was the absolute leader of the anawim. At this point the Parochial Vicar laughed out loud and exclaimed to the ultra-liberal Pastor that I had him, though he simply looked dumbfounded. The Parochial Vicar then explained that the anawim were the poor and lowly ones in the Hebrew Scriptures. He laughed again, saving me. I did preach exactly in the way I said I would and did preach also about Jesus’ good mom throughout the rest of the Marian Year.
It’s good to fight for what you believe in regardless of the cost. This one cost me big time. Even the bishop of the time exclaimed to me that he couldn’t believe that I had persevered in my vocation. But, of course, I learn from Jesus’ good mom (and therefore also my mom, right?). She’s the ultimate fighter, from Genesis 3:15, throughout Jesus’ life on this earth, and until today. Like mother, like Son and… and… like mother, like son. And that’s true for all of us, right? Yes. That’s right. Jesus and His good mom are good and kind.