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Mary is 'sublime example of perfect consecration'

Archbishop Wenski's homily at dedication of new convent at Little Flower, Coral Gables

Archbishop Thomas Wenski poses with the Carmelites of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles who work in the Archdiocese of Miami after blessing and dedication their new convent near Little Flower Church in Coral Gables, Nov. 21, 2022.

Photographer: COURTESY

Archbishop Thomas Wenski poses with the Carmelites of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles who work in the Archdiocese of Miami after blessing and dedication their new convent near Little Flower Church in Coral Gables, Nov. 21, 2022.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski preached this homily while dedicating and blessing a new convent for the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles at St. Theresa School and Little Flower Church in Coral Gables, Nov. 21, 2022.

This feast of the Presentation of Mary has always been popular in the Eastern Churches; and the feast was also incorporated into the liturgical calendar of the Western Church.

It underscores Mary’s unique role in Salvation History – a role she accepted when she freely said yes to God’s will when the angel announced to her that she would be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah. So, this feast is a good prelude to the Advent Season that begins this Sunday.

As when he called his first disciples, Jesus calls us to his side to form us for a definitive mission. In doing so he establishes a new family – “Who is my mother, my brothers and my sisters?” he asks, and then replies: “Those who do the will of my Father in heaven are mother, brother and sister to me.”

And the different forms of consecrated life or the different families of consecrated persons are the ecclesial development of the form of life of this “new family.” Your lives as vowed women reflect the very nature of the Church, the family of God reconciled to the Father and enlivened by the Holy Spirit through participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in baptism.

The Presentation of Mary reminds us that the Virgin Mary is “the sublime example of perfect consecration to the Father, union with the Son and openness to the Spirit.” She did the “will of the Father, ever ready in obedience, courageous in poverty and receptive in fruitful virginity.”

Like the Apostle John who took Mary into his own home, we are called to find in her a true mother. It is this filial relationship with Mary that is “the royal road” to fidelity to one’s vocation.