New Year – Mary Mother of God – The Measure of Success!
Bottom line: Success is to get done what we were obliged to do. Contrary to popular thinking, Mary teaches us today about success. It has nothing to do with the degree we earn, how much money we made, or how large a parish we pastor, but it has to do with being the person God created us to be and doing what God intended us to do. I guarantee you cannot find Mary on the list of 20 most famous people of News Week or one of the 100 influential people picked by Time Magazine….
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January 1st – Mary, mother of God! Year B – [email protected]
The Measure of Success
After getting all of Pope Benedict’s luggage loaded into the limo, the driver notice that the Pope was still standing on the curb. “Excuse me, your holiness,” says the driver, “can you take a seat so we can leave?”
“Well, to tell you the truth,” says the Pope, “They never let me drive in Vatican, even when I was a Cardinal, and I want to drive today.”
“I am sorry your holiness” responded the driver, “But I cannot do that. If something happened, I would lose my job.” Benedict replies, “Don’t worry I will take care everything.” Reluctantly, the drive gets into the back, as the Pope seated himself behind the driver’s wheel.
The driver regrets his decision as they exit the airport, The Pontiff floors it, accelerating the limo to over 80. Remember, he is a GERMAN Pope. “Please slow down,” the driver pleads. But the Pontiff still cruises the limo at a high speed, until they hear the sirens. The Pope pulls over, rolls down the window as the police approach, but the cop takes a quick look at him and goes back to his motorcycle, and gets on the radio. “I need to talk to the Chief,” The cop yells into the radio “Get the Chief, I need to talk to him.” When the chief gets to the radio the cop tells him that he had stopped a speeding limo with a very important person in it. “So bust him,” say the Chief. “I don’t think we want to do that, he is very important.” The Chief exclaims “Is he the District Attorney?” The Governor of Illinois? Or the President Elect?” To each of the name the cop said “No, he is more important that that!”
“Then tell me” the chief screams over the radio “Who is he?” The cop responded “I do not know, but I think he is God.”
“How do you know it?” The puzzled Chief becomes curious “What makes you think he is God.” The cop softly says: “He has got the Pope as his Driver!”
Today we honor the most influential woman in history, MARY MOTHER of GOD! Being the mother of Jesus, I believe, if they had cars in Jesus time, there must be times when Jesus was Mary’s chauffeur. And if we replace Benedict with Mary and Jesus with the drive in the story we see the importance of Mary not only as Jesus’ mother but ours as well! Elizabeth Johnson says she embodies the female face of God. She was the essential character in a singular story that is still being written. Twentieth century world-class scholars such as Karl Rahner and John Tracy Ellis saluted her by reciting her Rosary daily. St John Vianney said that she is the doorway to heaven and we cannot gain entry without calling upon her assistance. Mary is the measure of success! That is to be in God’s favor!
Alexander Woolcott, one of the most famous alumni of Hamilton College, New York, was asked to give a major address at the college’s centennial celebration. Woolcott gave a memorable speech which began: “I send my greetings today to all my fellow alumni of Hamilton College, scattered all over the earth. Some of you are successful, and some of you are failures – only God knows which are which!”
This is a wonderful reminder to us in our measurement of success and failure. This is the lesson that we are about to learn in today’s feast Holy Mary, Mother of God, our mother!
Success is to get done what we were obliged to do. Contrary to popular thinking, Mary teaches us today about success. It has nothing to do with the degree we earn, how much money we made, or how large a parish we pastor, but it has to do with being the person God created us to be and doing what God intended us to do. I guarantee you cannot find Mary on the list of 20 most famous people of News Week or one of the 100 influential people picked by Time Magazine; or on the list of the 1000 richest people by Forbes Magazine; I bet you find her in the heart of every Christian – and most importantly, she is in Jesus’ heart! Because she had done what she was called to do!
My dear brothers and sisters, no matter who we are or what duty we are entrusted with, put in the best effort that we can, do our best and let God take care of the rest – and that is the measure of success
My dear friends, Mary knows her roles in the plan of salvation. She does not complain that her Son did not explain everything to her, but she takes the back seat and prays and reflects to understand God’s will unfold in her life. I pray that on the last day of our life God looks upon us and says: “you have kept all things (of faith), reflecting on them in your heart. Come in and be with me and my mother!” And my dear friends, that is the proof of our success. But that end of life success begins today, as we gather on the first day of the year in this church be with Mary and her Son Jesus – So my dear friends, I have one question for you. What is the measure of your success?
Fr. Martino Nguyen Ba-Thong