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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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The Intercessory Power of Mary

mary.mother.of.jesus.01The marriage feast of Cana is also demonstrative of Mary’s powerful solicitation or intercession with her Son. We often concentrate on the miraculous change of water into wine. Certainly, this was a sign that would start people wondering about Jesus and what his mission among them might be. But, more immediately, the witnesses would have every reason to ponder about Mary’s role. It was at her urging that Jesus worked his first miracle. Who was this woman who brought this wonder-worker to them and could compel him to do such things? As always, Mary’s involvement would draw disciples to her Son and precipitate faith in him.

Catholicism both emphasizes the unique and essential role of Jesus as the Mediator and acknowledges that there are various lesser and dependent or secondary forms of mediation. For instance, ordained priests and the sacraments access the primary salvific act of Christ but through men configured to the great high priest and through elements or mysteries instituted by our Lord for these purposes. We pray for one another and beseech the intercession of the saints. We add our crosses to that of Christ and seek to make reparation for offenses against the loving heart of Jesus. Mary’s involvement is considered so important that she has been given a devotional title that seems to mirror her Son’s as the Mediator. Mary is called the Mediatrix of Graces. Her function is entirely secondary, contingent and subordinate to her Son. She is of the same mind and heart with him. She offers us Christ in Bethlehem and will extend her arms to hold him when he is taken down from the Cross, offering him again to us. She only wants what her Son wants, the forgiveness of sins and the redemption of a people. Mary cooperates with her Son in building up his kingdom. We all are called to imitate Mary in bringing others into an encounter and unity with Jesus Christ. How can believers possibly say they love their neighbor if they are passive or disinterested in facilitating such meetings with Christ? It is no wonder that a sterilized non-Catholic form of Christianity tends on one hand to dismiss Mary and on the other to so internalize or privatize religion that ignorance of Christ in others is tolerated and no move is made to introduce them to our saving God. The failure to cooperate with God and to evangelize is a failure to love. No one comes to the truth alone. Everything is mediated. We pass on what we have because what we have matters. Nothing compares to the acquisition of the Greatest Good. We can gain money, fame, power and possessions; but if we do not have God, then we really have nothing. Speaking personally, this is why I became a priest: for the forgiveness of sins and the salvation of souls. All those who focus on these objectives will remain in union with Christ and rightly have a devotion to Mary. The particular difference between Mary’s mediation and that of others is based upon her maternal identity.