The Most Holy Name of Mary
1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22b-27
Today the Church celebrates the "Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary." Mary’s name called out by the Angel Gabriel, a name touched by God to do God’s Will so that salvation and hope would finally enter into the world’s history. The most holy name is iconic. Put your name into hers, for we are begotten by the same Spirit that conceived her. Just be "in Mary" like before an icon, and allow her to speak to you. And in that name, (I borrow here from a song entitled "Peace" sung by Honey In the Rock) "I write your name on every common object, on the top flame of the fire / On my friend’s forehead, on each body I love / On every outstretched hand, on absence without loving / On loneliness behind bars, on the stairway to heaven / On health won back, on danger passed, on baseless hope / I write your name/ And by the weight of one word I start my love all over again / I was born to know you and call you by name / Peace…" And, pray, "be it done according to Your Will, today."
Along with entering into the iconic name, Mary, I dwell upon Jesus’ observation that "a disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher." Yes, to be like Christ. I want to know, love and serve Christ. I want to be like him. Remember when he told us the he was going to the Father, and that after his departure we would discover ourselves to be with his Spirit? Due to our Baptism and the Pentecost event, the Spirit, like little tongues of flame, disappeared inside us to be with us through eternity. Just like the Risen Jesus vanished into the two disciples who had been pouring out their souls to Christ in the wake of the apparent tragedy – His death on the cross. So where are the signs of that Spirit among us? We get a hint to the answer when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. Afterwards he said, "You call me Lord and Master and rightly so, I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you (John 13:14-15) It begins with a self-examination of our ability to surrender, to copy and to serve as a "fully qualified disciple." To whom am I at one’s service today? Not to worry what I will say or do, the flame is within.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is president of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School, Birmingham, Alabama.