Saint Luke 1:28

Brothers and Sisters,

In my first assignment, there is a very large Catholic elementary school: Saint Katherine Drexel. I was pleased to discover that this school has such great staff and faculty that many protestants and even non-believers wanted to send their children to this school. Expectedly, however, many protestant parents and others registered their children while stating that they wanted their children to be exempt from religious mechanisms of the school.

Here’s one such story: the principal came to me one day asking if she had done the right thing. She told me that a family new to Saint Cloud had registered their two children at our school and the parents told the principal directly: they’re not gonna have to learn the ‘holy Mary’ prayer, right?

To which I replied: what did you tell them? The principal responded: I told them ‘no, your children will not be learning any prayer titled ‘holy Mary.’ Which I found to be a wonderful joke.

The element that so many Christians who are not Catholic fail to recognize is that Blessed Mother is both the first and the best Christian. Being both first and best gives all of us our marching orders: follow her example – she’ll always lead us closer to Christ. In sports and racing, we copy the winning tactics and methods of those who finish ahead of us; similarly, with an eye towards Heaven, following the example of holy Mary will keep us on track.

Here’s how the Church reminds us of this at every single Mass: Archangel Gabriel himself greeted Blessed Mother with the words: the Lord is with you. So also, at every single Mass, the priest greets the faithful by saying: the Lord be with you.

This is not an accidental coincidence. My life and yours is to be modeled after Blessed Mother. She never turned away from Christ. She never doubted His divinity. She, as the Moon reflects light of the Sun, reflects the warm and piercing light of the Son.

God be near, Father Jeremy Pastor