By Raymond Syms
We have two mothers, Eve and Mary. “Which one of these do you want as your mother?”
Archbishop Jason Gordon asked this question to viewing faithful as he celebrated a September 8 virtual Mass to commemorate the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
He said Mary’s birthday was special in the Catholic tradition as her birth “signals the dawn of salvation history, an intervention of God promised a long time ago… she is the one through whom Christ our saviour will be born. Her immaculate conception is the promise of God realised”.
He said, “the light of the resurrection is first seen in its fragile and tentative form with the birth of Mary”.
Archbishop Gordon said Mary is considered the second Eve. He explained that the first Eve was born without sin but was tempted into sin, turned, and walked away from what God wanted, and in so doing condemned all her offspring (us) to be born with original sin.
But God saved Mary from original sin, bringing her into birth “spotless, sinless” —a new Eve. “She is the mother of the new humanity, mother of the new people of God, from whom our lineage goes back to Jesus Christ and to the Father, a lineage who will say ‘yes’ to God regardless of the cost…”
The “significance of Mary is not simply her maternity”, but because “she did the will of the Father in everything in her life” that sets her apart as a holy woman.
Archbishop Gordon said we have two mothers—mother Eve who was spoiled by “sin, greed, corruption, and disobedience to God” and “Mother Mary, virginal, spotless, sinless, incorrupt, yielding her heart to the heart of God, doing the will of God and living courageously…”
“To choose Eve is to walk the ways of the flesh; to choose Mary is to walk the ways of God. Where do you want your lineage to come from? That’s the question this feast today poses to you and to me. As for me, I choose Mary, the spotless one, the sinless one.”
He concluded the homily saying, “If you had to adopt out your child to somebody you’re not going to look for a reprobate and a fool”, you’d be “discriminating in choosing and selecting, wisely and well” to ensure your child had the best protection and love.
“That’s what God did when He chose Mary. And if Mary is good enough for God to choose to make her the mother of His Son, well, she’s good enough for me to make my mother.”
Before giving the final blessing, the Archbishop congratulated the Legion of Mary in Trinidad and Tobago which was celebrating its 86th anniversary of establishment. He described the Legion as “a missionary discipleship movement before the term was even known”, with a mission to the elderly and the sick, visiting hospitals, homes and schools, “to bring the love of God there and to teach people how to pray the rosary”.
Archbishop Gordon thanked God for the Legion’s “mission, ministry, and work” and prayed God’s blessing on all legionaries and “a special grace from your mother Mary as you do the work she has entrusted to your hands bringing her Son’s love to all broken humanity”.
The Archbishop also extended greetings and congratulations to Servol (Service Volunteered For All) on their golden anniversary, recalling that on that day 50 years ago, Fr Gerard Pantin CSSp, then a teacher at St Mary’s College left to walk the hills of Laventille and “began a conversation with young people that helped start Servol”.
“Servol has touched the lives of countless young people of the nation and their contribution to social development is really stellar,” remarked Archbishop Gordon.
He praised the organisation for bringing young people back into education and “offering a path towards living and towards being good human beings and great citizens of the nation”.
“Thank you for what you have done in contributing to the development of the nation” and being a “sign to our people of God’s incredible love in places and spaces where people sometimes cannot see God easily.”