I hesitate to publish this:
- I’m about 100% shadow-banned. Digital evangelization is so difficult these days. Perhaps better times will come.
- The homily itself is very long, just over 30 minutes. I get carried away.
Having said all that, I have to say that I don’t hear anyone else saying the things I say here about our Lady. However inept I am at stating what should be obvious, I’m guessing it would be best to put such things down in hard-copy.
Meanwhile, I’m sprinting more than ever. It seems I just had an oil change for Sassy the Subaru, and now she’s due again, already. That’s 6000 miles, just like that. Much of that is Communion Calls, Last Rites, Burials, Rehabs/Nursing Homes, and more recently Behavioral Unit availability. The staff at the latter say I’m the only one to bring some people out of their shell regardless of what religion they are. Thanks to my guardian angel is what I say.
Meanwhile, I’ve not been doing much blogging. Sorry about that. I’m about 100% shadow-banned. Some of you get through. I put up this homily for those who aren’t blocked. This homily is where I’m at in my life.
Meanwhile, if you dare:
(c) 2022 [International] Fr George David Byers
11 responses to “2022-12-8 Immaculate Conception Homily”
God bless you Father George! This homily is so deep and sorrowful but also so full of hope and love. Thank you for posting it. I felt that these words were from the heart and soul and its such a blessing. This Advent has been awash with tears. Tears can be a healing balm. God is good and loving.
May the Holy Face of Jesus shine on you Father George and all of us. Thank you and God bless you.
Shared on FB with the comment “if you can get through the first 9 minutes of dryness, you will be awash in blessing to renew (or make new) your love of His Mother.” (just trying to get people to listen through to the great end)
The best. Deo gratias!
I have never thought of Her this way. She knew everything. Wow! Thank you Father.
I will begin to make a habit of sharing your posts on Facebook before I read your them, because I often forget to do so afterwards. My extended family like your posts, so at least I am not yet shadow banned.
I get you “loud and clear!” God bless you Father. You have a special place in Heaven…
p.s. The Sorrowful Immaculate Heart has lifted up myself and my grieving daughter as we mourn a beloved husband and father. Deo gratias – this homily has helped more than you know.
Please read Luisa Piccarreta, Servant of God and the Little Daughter of the Divine Will. You will love her because she talks about Mary and Jesus!!!🙏❤️
I always feel great sympathy when I ponder on the Protestant’s great loss through the lack of appreciation passed on to them by the founders of most of their founders. They have lost the most maternal of all mothers.
Thank you for this homily Father. I commented earlier but it appears the comment did not show up. God bless you Father.
Tremendous homily, thank you Father.
Listening to your teaching on Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception, it struck me that this truth is central to grasping our religion – the one and only religion – yet it is widely under taught and under appreciated. I have even heard a Catholic “scholar” speak against the Immaculate Conception in a talk meant to enrich the faith and given in a Catholic church. We laity need to hear or read (homily, blog, book) such words as yours on the reality of the Immaculate Conception and have it unpacked for us. You know the truth of it and how to explain it in a way easily understood.
As I listened to your homily it also occurred to me that in explaining the Immaculate Conception all 20 mysteries of the Holy Rosary, from the Annunciation and Incarnation to Our Lady’s Assumption and Coronation in Heaven were being implicitly summed up even though only a few were explicitly mentioned, leading us deeper into the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Mother. Celebrating the Immaculate Conception, loving the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, praying the Rosary – it all fits together but is rarely taught in a wholistic way as you do it.
Perhaps the Eastern Orthodox have a greater problem accepting Our Lady’s death as certain and prefer to speak of her dormition (falling asleep) because of a lessening of acuity due to schism and not having the Rosary to help them see more clearly. Since her divine Son was sinless and died taking our sins upon Himself, then it is no stretch at all to accept that His Mother who was sinless and fully united with Him in all He suffered for us, experiencing the horror of sin to the overwhelming extent which we cannot, would likewise die a a result – murdered by our sins; thus the Church calls her “Queen of Martyrs”. As you say, God points it out through the scriptures (Genesis 3:15; Lamentations 1:12). In the New Testament, too, we find Simeon applying the protoevangelium and Jeremiah’s prophecy to dearest Mary: “… as for thy own soul, it shall have a sword to pierce it.” (Luke 2:35).
2,000 years have passed since Simeon spoke those prophetic words that came to a head on Calvary, and about 200 years ago (1830) God saw fit to remind us again of what He first stated at Genesis 3:15 and referred to through the prophets, this time restating the matter in the form of a miraculous medal, the design for which He had His Immaculate Mother give to Catherine Laboure for us. And there it is for all to see, the Immaculate Heart of Mary beside the Sacred Heart of her divine Son, her heart pierced through with a sword, recalling the words of Simeon and Jeremiah. How can anyone deny she is Co-Redemptrix? Yet even Pope Francis, by mischaracterising the meaning of “Co-Redemptrix”, casts the truth aside calling it “foolishness”. I assume he does so through ignorance and /or because it does not fit in with his version of ecumenism.
In my unfinished book on Fatima I have a chapter dedicated to the first known Marian apparition. The Immaculate Mother of God appeared on the Iberian Peninsula, occupied today by the nations of Portugal and Spain, to the Apostle James (Santiago aka St James the Greater) 2,000 years ago as he laboured to bring the pagan peoples there to Christ. The timing is interesting for it had to have occurred between Pentecost and St James’ martyrdom in AD 44. Many think this was not an apparition in the normal sense of the word as they believe Our Lady was still alive and residing in the Middle East; hence, they attribute her visit to St James as bilocation rather than her coming from Heaven. Given her broken heart and that she had her divine Son in her arms (He as an infant, not adult as taken down from the Cross) when she appeared, does not support bilocation but that Mother and Son came from Heaven after the death of both.
Perhaps you would not mind me sharing some of my notes and part of a draft on the above mentioned apparition, Father, as it is sitting doing nothing in my file but might be of interest to someone.
The Iberian Peninsula and its people stand out in Church History in that
1) they were the first to receive a Marian apparition (Caesar-Augusta / Zaragoza, 1st century);
2) they were the first to have a church named in Our Lady’s honour (Our Lady of the Pillar);
3) it was the mission field of the first Apostle to be martyred (St James the Greater / Santiago – his earthly remains housed in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela);
4) they were privileged to receive Our Lady’s visit in 1917 with an urgent message for the whole world, capped off by the Miracle of the Sun; and
5) it is where the dogma of the faith is still formally held by the descendants of those who received it from the Apostle James, summarised in Galicia’s motto and set forth on its state flag for all to see. (See that flag at link below)
Now, in a little more detail.
AD 40 or thereabouts, seven years more or less after Pentecost, the Apostle James the Greater was camped by the banks of the Ebro River at Caesar-Augusta in the Roman province of Tarraconensis when Our Lady appeared and asked him to build her a shrine.
The small chapel he built has been rebuilt and enlarged over the centuries since, and today is a cathedral basilica and still houses a miraculous image of what St James saw when Our Lady appeared to him. This first known Marian apparition anywhere in the world showed Mary, the Infant Jesus in her arms, standing upon a pillar planted in the soil of the Iberian Peninsula. The message conveyed was clear: St James’ missionary efforts would not be in vain – the infant Church was there to stay, its growth and development under Mary’s maternal care.
Centuries later, the Catholic nations of Portugal and Spain would grow out of what had been Iberia’s Roman provinces, the spark ignited in the north from Tarraconensis. [Map inserted in draft showing the three Roman provinces that made up the Iberian Peninsula in St James’ time: Tarraconensis, Lusitania and Baetica. Note. A map showing same can be seen at the link below. Caesar-Augusta, where Our Lady appeared in the 1st century, is labelled.]
St James was back in Jerusalem by AD 44 when he was seized and beheaded by order of Herod Agrippa.
[Footnote inserted at bottom of page: Herod Agrippa who ruled Judea on Rome’s behalf from AD 41 to 44 was a grandson of King Herod, the man who decades earlier had ordered the “Slaughter of the Innocents” in the hope of killing the Infant Jesus. Herod Agrippa was also the nephew of Herod Antipas who had St John the Baptist beheaded. Relevant Bible passages: Matthew 2:13-18, Mark 6:17-28 and Acts 12:1-2]
His body was afterward taken back to his missionary field on the Iberian Peninsula and a majestic cathedral was later built over his tomb in Medieval Times. [Picture of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela inserted in draft; a similar picture can be found at the link below]
The cathedral built over the bodily remains of St James and the city that grew up around it were named in his honour. That city, Santiago de Compostela, is today the capital of Galicia, an autonomous region of Spain. In St James’ time, what is now Galicia was then part of a larger area called Gallaecia in the Roman province of Tarraconensis. Gallaecia would later emerge from Tarraconensis to be the Iberian Peninsula’s 4th Roman province.
Ancient Times came to an end with the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD). The Dark ages and Medieval Times followed that collapse and it was in Medieval Times that Portugal came into being (12th century), formed from the southern part of Gallaecia and the western part of Lusitania. [Map inserted in draft showing where Portugal developed. Note: A map showing same can be found at the link below in which the Roman provinces of Gallaecia (blue) and Lusitania (green) are depicted with present day Portugal overlaid and outlined in white.]
St James had ordained St Peter of Rates and sent him to preach at Bracara (now Braga), then part of Galaecia and now the oldest archdiocese in Portugal. Thus, what was begun by St James in Gallaecia was carried through into Portugal.
Galicia is an autonomous region of Spain directly above Portugal. [Map inserted in draft; similar can be found at link below showing Galicia in red and Portugal in grey. Note: Galicia is that part of Gallaecia that was not incorporated into Portugal.]
The faith, handed down to the people of Galicia and Portugal from their ancestors in Gallaecia who received it from St James, is summarised in Galicia’s coat of arms, “Here is the mystery of faith that we strongly profess”, and proclaimed in its flag. [Link to flag is the 1st given in this comment box. Link re Galicia’s coat of arms is given below.]
That this little part of the world has stood firm when most European nations have turned their backs on Our Lord highlights what the Mother of God is able to do when she has priest-sons like St James and his successors following in the footsteps of her divine Son.
The mission of St James and his successors on the Iberian Peninsula was the preparation of a Catholic people who would receive the Mother of God in 1917 and whose history would be a backdrop for her message to the world. Our Lady of the Pillar (c.AD40, Feast Day October 12th) and Our Lady of Fatima (AD1917, Miracle of the Sun October 13th) are like bookends, the period bookended spanning Church history up until the 20th century: Apostolic Times (1st century) when our redemption was wrought and Our Lady appeared on the Iberian Peninsula, through the last centuries of Ancient Times and into Medieval Times, and onward into Modern Times which I think came to an end in the 20th century when Our Lady appeared at Fatima. We are now living in a Post-Modern world aka Post Christian Times, hunkering down as the “little flock”, holding onto the promise that Our Immaculate Mother’s Heart will triumph in the end as she promised at Fatima.
Under its 1st king, Afonso Henrique, rescuer of his people from Islamic subjugation, the Kingdom of Portugal was Catholic from its very beginning. The Mother of God as “Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception” is Portugal’s Patroness (also Spain’s) and the Kingdom of Portugal was always deeply devoted to her and the Blessed Sacrament. Little wonder then that the Feast Days of Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament happen to coincide (May 13th).
Moreover, the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was prefigured in Portugal when in 1646, King John IV gave his crown to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, crowning her Queen of Portugal. Never again did Portugal’s monarchs wear their crown for it belonged to Mary. Surely the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart will be accomplished when all the leaders of the world and their people proclaim Mary as their Queen.
There is much more of Portugal’s history that is pertinent to the story of Fatima, some of it in draft form and some still in notes. I don’t presently have the energy to sort through and get it all down in a polished final form. My mind is tired (oxygen levels and energy perpetually low). I am grateful to be able to share a little here from time to time. Thank you, Father.
Father, we hear you and read you! You are reaching those of us who value your thoughts and your dedication to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.