Year C – Solemnity of Our Lady of Arabia

(Celebrated on 14, 15 & 16 January 2022)

The central message of the song is clear: the marginalized as well as the oppressed of society are central figures in God’s sight; God does His best work with powerless people; God’s criteria of truth goes beyond our definitions and descriptions. The canticle is indeed a powerful message of boundless hope and a inspiration towards the synodal journey that we have begun.

In today’s world of crises and uncertainty and stiller tensions and fears building up, the feast of our Patroness, OLA gives us a glimmer of Hope and Joy. That she is ever present to us out here in the gulf amidst our joys, sorrows, pains and moments of uncertainties.

Through the gospel of the day we can gather some food for our feast day reflection, keeping in mind we what each one goes through and how we are called to imitate Our Blessed Mother.

+ Joy to others: Mary was able to do this even at her very own personal comfort to others because of whom she carried in her being that is Jesus. Mary carried Jesus always even through the PDR and this first brought her Joy and this she wanted others to experience too.

+ Mary’s words recorded in the Gospel: Mary’s words are recorded only in moments of Praising God or out of favor for others (Magnificat, at Cana). But when it came to her own personal feeling and especially of discomfort, she does not say a word, but keeps them pondering in her heart.

We are called to always praise God and help others and in our own moments of trails and worries— keep pondering them in our heart along with the Lord.

+ Mary’s generosity: her generosity is seen in first making haste to go and share the good news with others, beginning with her cousin Elizabeth and then as the Gospel tells us she stayed with her for 3 months (almost to the time of her delivery). She did this not even looking at her own personal comfort. As the words of the magnificent: he has shown his power to the lowly and the hungry; through her generosity and God’s help she was able to do this.

Her first response is to go to help. I am mother of God but help my cousin too. She responded to the need and took God to Elizabeth house.

Thus at the visit to her cousin, Elizabeth praised her for; – being mother and – for her faith.

In this Synodality way that we are called to move towards, what does Mary teach us and gives us an example:

In our present situation and what the world is facing in this Pandemic:

    Ø We are first called to Listen to God’s word and keep pondering on them. This will lead us to go out to listen to others and their wants and needs. This will enable us to listen to the Word of God.

    Ø We are called to show the compassion that God has shown towards us to others. This will bring in joy and love to others.

    Ø We are called to go to the marginalized/ those outsides our church boundaries/ outcaste/ refugees/ the sick, to show them this compassion, participate in their day to day situation. This is done through our personal and community generosity.

    Ø Thus doing the above, we will be able to bring them back to the main stream of the family, parish community, to society; thus to lead them towards the synodal journey towards the kingdom of God.

Mary has shown us the way and we are called to imitate her:

    – Go out to meet others, taking Jesus with us, so as to show God’s compassion

    – Call to praise God always and to keep pain and suffering pondering in our hearts.

    – To be generous with our time and self, to build up the kingdom of God.

Hail Mary…

Fr. Franco Pereira, S.D.B.

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