The Central Catholic Parent Club hosted Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, for an all-school Mass at Central Catholic High School on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8.
In his homily, the archbishop told the students that it is easy for to be anxious and fearful about many things, as there is so much distrust among people, so much hatred and violence.
In today’s first reading at the liturgy, the Man and the Woman in the Garden were anxious. Instead of trusting in God’s love for them, they had wanted to be like God. They ate the forbidden fruit and then tried to hide from God. When he called, “Where are you,” the Man replied, “I was afraid, so I hid.”
“But there is no place to hide!” the archbishop stressed. “How can we run away and hide from God?” he asked. “We find ourselves in a wilderness, no longer in the Garden that God has intended for us. We discover death, not life.”
How different is the gospel? The angel told the Virgin Mary not to be afraid because God is with her. God has chosen her, and all she has to do is trust God.
“Can you even begin to imagine the depth of Mary’s trust in God when she said ‘Yes’ to God’s call to be the mother of the Savior?” Archbishop Gustavo exclaimed. “At this moment of profound trust in God and courage, the Virgin Mary received the word of God into her heart and into her body. This trust gave life, not death, to the whole world.”
He continued, “Today, we move beyond our anxieties and fears and to trust in God. Today, Mary’s story becomes our story. Today, God reassures each of us of his loving presence in our lives. Today, we become aware of the dignity that God has bestowed upon us and every human person. Today, we are called to bear God’s Son in our hearts and in our bodies through the power of the Spirit of God Most High. Today, we are challenged to be servants of the Lord. Today, we are challenged to allow God to lead us out of the wilderness into his garden, to walk in his ways and not the ways of the world — to experience new life, not death!”
While the Gospel was about the conception of Jesus, the Solemnity is about the conception of Mother Mary. It was her who “from the first moment of her conception … was preserved free from every stain of original sin” (Ineffabilis Deus).
“This is the power of trusting in God. Our Lord knew that Mary would say yes,” the Missionary of the Holy Spirit emphasized. “He knew that she would trust in him and turn away from fear and doubt. So, he gave her the reward for her faithfulness, even before she was born!”
The San Antonio prelate told the young men that Immaculate Mother is our example. “She teaches us to trust in God. All of the difficult things going on in the world, here in your school, or even in your homes, call you to do as Mary did, and trust in God. Call upon him in your fear. Pray regularly. Give thanks to God when good things happen. Pray together as brothers and sisters in Christ,” he urged. “May this school and may your families be families of prayer and trust in God. Know that your teachers, us priests and bishops, the good religious brothers and sisters, and all of us in the Church is here for you, too. We love you, and we are so happy to be walking this road with you. May it be a road of faith and confidence in our God who loves us.”
He again quoted from the Holy Father: “With generosity and confidence, like Mary, let us say today, each one of us, a personal yes to God” (Dec. 8, 2016).
Lastly, the archbishop prayed that “Mother Mary, you who are the Immaculate Conception and Patroness of the United States, show us how to trust God and to bear within ourselves the Lord Jesus, who is the Light and the Life of the world.”