Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection – August 5, 2022
18th Friday in Ordinary Time
The Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major August 5, 2022
Na 2:1,3; 3:1-3, 6-7; (Ps) Dt 32:35c-36b, 39abcd, 41; Mt 16:24-28
There are only a few times during the year when the Church honors a building. Today is one of those days when we honor the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, sometimes referred to as the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Snows.
Pope Sixtus III erected the basilica after the Council of Ephesus in 431.
Tradition tells us the basilica was dedicated on August 5th. It is known to be the oldest basilica in the west dedicated to the Mother of God.
In listening to our readings today, one can wonder how they even relate to this basilica, yet alone the Mother of God. However, in the midst of all this bloodshed, persecution, and death, comes a message so pure, so undefiled that who else could bring it to life than Mary, the Mother of God?
In the Responsorial Psalm from the book of Deuteronomy, the psalmist declares, “Learn then, that I, I alone am God, and there is no god besides me.” The good news of salvation is promised by God, born from Mary, and delivered to us by Jesus. Who are we to question the message delivered by the prophets? Jesus brings this message home to us when He says, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”
On this day when we celebrate the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, it is time we listen to the words of the prophets. Life will be tough, but everlasting life will be grand. It is time we give ourselves up fully to the Lord and let Him guide us. Give up your life to earn a new life, one where you will find the everlasting life Jesus promises us through Him. Thank you, Mary, for saying yes, and bringing Him into the world, so we, too, can be saved.