Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vows: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 (Queenship of Mary)

            Usually you have Fr. Brian on Thursdays, but I was asked to fill in for him today.  I knew why he wanted a sub after I read the readings today.  Father, preach about a man who sacrificed his only daughter to a group of Sisters!
            First, let’s be clear that Jephthah’s vow was foolish and wrong.  God did not ask them to do this, nor did He approve of such a horrible offering.  Human sacrifice has always been condemned by the Israelites and Christians and in no way did Jepthah act well.
            Yet as this obscure passage from Judges is from the Bible it does contain truth.  First, it illustrates the sanctity of vows in the Old Testament.  While Jepthah’s vow was rash, the fact that he made the vow and followed through with it shows the seriousness of promises among the Israelites.  The fact that Jephthah’s daughter also held to this vow—and gave her life—only supports this fact.
            Second, it shows that we must be careful with what we promise to God.  Jepthah’s will was not God’s.  The man without the wedding garment in the Gospel was not prepared to enter the feast.  So, too, in our own battle with sins and vices we can stray from God’s will in our life and fail to uphold the promises we make to Him.
            Today we celebrate the Queenship of Mary.  I was wondering if we could have different readings to better honor her!  Yet Mary shows how to fulfill a vow.  She said yes to the angel Gabriel and continued to be faithful to this yes for the rest of her life.  Plus, her promise to God was in perfect relationship with God’s will for her.
            Today we ask our Mother to pray for us, that we may be faithful to the vows we made in religious life and priesthood and that we may conform ourselves to God’s will.

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