December 8, 2009

Tim Dolan on the Immaculate Conception

Last night, on the vigil of the Immaculate Conception, here in the Yonkers vicariate of the Archdiocese of New York, we had our official visit by our new archbishop, who came to offer Mass with his priests, deacons, and people in the mother church of Yonkers, dedicated to Mary under that same title.

Archbishop Dolan gave a homily that was at once encouraging, entertaining, scriptural, good catechesis, and included a vocal solo.

Our first parents, though they had been given everything, refused divine love through disobedience and said "no" to God. After that God could have said to them, literally, "go to hell." But He didn't. Instead, our God is so good and so generous that He "won't take no for an answer." God refused to take our 'no' as a final response. So, as soon as our first parents had sinned, God began to sing a song...

And so began the long Advent, the long wait for the Savior. God prepared the New Eve to be the mother of this New Adam, and her fiat, her "let it be done to my according to your word," became the 'yes' that reversed the 'no' of our first parents. How was she able to make such a total assent to the work of God within her? She had been preserved from the corruption of sin from the first moment of her conception, making her free to conceive the Word of God in all spiritual freedom.

Our God won't take 'no' for an answer, and he takes the 'yes' of sinless Mary as the beginning of the new creation. Amen.

It was an enjoyable and encouraging evening. I'm happy for the Archdiocese of New York, and I offered the Mass for the ministry of our new Archbishop. May God furnish him with every good gift and grace and he bears the burden of shepherd and teacher.

Extra feast day credit for mendicants and mendicant sympathizers: Anybody care to rehearse St. Thomas's trouble with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (see ST 3,27,2) and/or describe how it might be used as a reductio ad absurdum for the implicit Christology above? What then is the alternative?


Fr. John Mary, ISJ said...

Fr Charles: I have stayed at the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal house in Yonkers in the past. Your post brought back great memories.
A blessed Advent and feast of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception!
Fraternally, Fr. JM

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Excellent homily indeed. It really made me think and brought some things together for me. Thanks, Fr. Charles!

ben in denver said...

It seems like a biological issue to me. Clearly St. Thomas saw animation or quickening, happening at a distance from conception. We now understand better that the zygote is fully animate from the first moment of conception. We would therefore believe that the animating principle of the zygote is the rational soul proper to it's species, and hence is a rational creature, and therefore could be sanctified.

But back to the homily, I think that St. Thomas' big fault here is that he failed to deal with the OT reading from Tuesday's mass. If that not pre-animate sanctification, then I don't know what is.