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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Mary at the Annunciation

We trace the Hail Mary prayer to the singular citation of the angel Gabriel to Mary, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). This greeting puzzled Mary, not because of ignorance of her own character, but because of the depth of her humility. We might also wrongly posit timidity in her stance, but such was an expression of reverence and not fear. Here, before her, was an emissary of the Most High God. All the power behind the throne accompanies her heavenly visitor. Nevertheless, she faces him with courage and an openness of both heart and mind. The angel explains, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son; you shall call his name Jesus” (Luke 1:3). The angel brings with him a divine wisdom. Angels are wholly committed to the will of God. He recognizes in Mary a creature of flesh who utterly shares his disposition toward divine providence. Mary embodies a true freedom that always says YES to God. “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Mary’s consent was part of a celestial symphony, where God is both the composer and conductor and where she plays her part in the orchestral music of salvation.

What the marital act is for a husband and wife in the natural course of things, Mary’s response was to God’s message; the fruit was the incarnation of the Redeemer.