Athough it is a  little late we feel it is worth while offering you this homily preached by our brother Brian Pierce, (promoter of the Dominican nuns) during a regional meeting of Dominican nuns which took place over the past week in Krakow, Poland.  We will be sharing with you some highlights of this meeting in due course.

 

 Gospel: Mt 1:1-16, 18-23
·        Novels and short stories are two of the most popular kinds of literature. The gospel we have just heard is certainly not a short story!  In fact, it’s a very long novel-like story – one that is still being written and lived today.
·        If we read carefully, we will see that this very loooongstory has a colorful list of characters in it.  There’s a lot of brokenness and sin woven through that long list of names … but there is a lot of grace, too.  It is Joseph’s story, but because of God’s mysterious plan, it is also Mary’s story.  And that means it is also our story, too.

 
·        Today we celebrate Mary’s birth.  But our gospel begins long before her birth. Not even Dostoevsky could write a story with so much drama and mystery and passion and pain – and love!

 
·        God’s story is a profound story.  Hundreds of years, thousands of years flowed into a single moment in history: the boy named Joseph grew up to be a man who met the lovely girl named Mary.  God was so patient, so creative.  So many people played a part in this love story.  Abraham married Sarah. Boaz – the son of Rahab – married the Moabite woman, Ruth.  And Ruth – not even an Israelite – became the great-grandmother of King David!  What a story!  What a mystery!  It’s Joseph and Mary’s story, and Jesus’ story.
·        And it is our story, too!  Do we realize what that means?  Do we realize that God has guided this whole journey with love and mercy and forgiveness and grace?  Do we realize that God knew us before we were born?  Are we aware of that river of grace and love that flows through us, that molds us and transforms us?

 
·        As the Psalmist sings:  “Lord, I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! … When I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth, your eyes foresaw my actions … my days were shaped, before one came to be.  How precious to me are your designs, O God; how vast the sum of them (139: 13-17)!

 
·        God is not in a hurry.  It’s a long story, and we’ve been invited to be part of it, to walk and to dream, to laugh and to have doubts, to love and be forgiven. 
·        We will make mistakes – just like they did.  Just like King David did.  We will be confused – just like Joseph was.  But we will also say “yes.”  We will have moments of clarity and trust and we will say, “Here I am, Lord.  Send me.”

 
·        God is in no hurry.  Grace is like a good cup of tea.  It needs time to steep.  It takes many days and years and generations for God to tell his story.  

 
·        Today we celebrate Mary’s birth.  Holy Mary.  St. Mary.  She was once a little baby – but that was a long time ago.  When she was born, she had no idea what life would bring.  None of us do.  All we are asked to do is let God write the story into our hearts and minds and into our hands and our feet.  Where the story will take us we do not know.  Our task is to say “yes” and keep on walking.  Mary said “yes.”  And Joseph – after a very long and dark night of tears and struggle – also said “yes”.  And Dominic said “yes”.

 
·         And now it is our turn to say “yes”.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.