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  • Dyann Maldonado

The fruit of Love



In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit seeking our Lady's intercession. Let us pray.

Hail Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

Good morning, brothers, and sisters.

One of the things that you hear from parents all the time is that becoming a parent changed them, right? That the moment they realized that this little life had depended upon them, it placed upon them this great responsibility, and it changed them as a person. Now the change is different, or at least it happens a little differently for the mother as opposed to the father.

So, for example, I'm reminded of a story slash joke that a comedian once told about becoming a father, and he said, I wasn't really prepared for it. Like, what happens to you when you hold your child for the first time? And he goes, I'll never forget the day my first child, my son, was born. And there in the hospital I held him, and he goes, For the first time in my life, I thought to myself, I would die for him because I never would have died for anybody else before that moment.  But having this little boy, it changed me. And he goes, I never thought I could change more than that. He goes, something happened when I had my second child, something I did not expect. It was a little girl. And he said that first time I held her in my arms. He goes, I realized I was a changed man because I thought to myself, I would kill for her.  He's like, I became a murderer. You know, I'd go to jail for you.  So having children in this way changes you now, for a man, for the typical father, he must really see that child and hold that child to really be transformed in that way.  But for a mother, it happens before birth, right? The moment the mother can really experience the child growing in her womb, she is changed by it. She's altered in her perception of self and responsibilities. And she changes her whole way of thinking. Now, the man, when he the reason he can't make that change when his wife is pregnant is because he can't see the baby. He can't experience the baby. It just looks like his wife is getting a little fatter right. So, you know, he knows there's a baby in there, but he has to have that visual connection to really affect that change in his way of thinking. But mom, she experiences the child in her body in a way that no man can, can experience, can comprehend.  And because of that concrete experience, she changes as well. The way she thinks. Now, this change comes because, again, it's an alteration of perception, the way you see life, your life, your responsibilities has changed you. Now, this is important because according to the church, the greatest form of prayer is meditation. Why? Because meditation changes the way you think.  It alters your perception of reality, and it can do it for the good or the bad. If you constantly meditate upon sad, depressing, and fearful things, guess what? You're going to become a sad and depressed and fearful person. If you meditate upon good and holy and virtuous things, guess what? You're going to become a better, holier, and more virtuous person.

 

Now, what does any of this have to do with Christmas and Advent? Well, advent as a season is all about preparing for the coming of the Christ child. Right. And in essence, this this month that we spend in preparation is like our ladies nine months of pregnancy. Once she conceived our Lord in her womb by the power of the Holy Spirit, you can imagine that became a profound change in her because she went from being a woman to being a mother. And she realized that even though it was God incarnate who she had in her womb, he was going to be born a baby and dependent upon her for so many of his needs. For those nine months, you can only imagine what our lady would have been thinking about. You know how you mothers are. You like all the things you have to get ready for the baby because its baby's coming, right?  All the changes you must make to the home, all of the things you have to buy and purchase and prepare for. And our lady must have been going through these things in her mind. Now you can say to yourself, Well, yeah, but I. I'm not the mother of God. Yeah, fair enough. And, you know, I can't meditate on that the way she did. And this is where. Yes, on one level, you're right. But on another level, you're wrong. And I offer it to you this way. After our Lord gave us the Holy Mass at the Last Supper and after His resurrection, when our Lady began to receive Holy Communion, I want you to think about this. Imagine her meditation every time she received Holy Communion. It must have reminded her of Jesus being in her womb for nine months. Now, if you if you do the math, that's a lot of holy communions, like nine months of pregnancy. I don't know how many it is, but just say on average, our Lord Sacramental stays within you for about 10 to 15 minutes. So 10 to 15 minutes divided by nine months, that's a lot of Holy Communion. But for us, we have this opportunity, like our lady, to reflect in that same way. Now, again, this is easier for you mothers because you've been through this. You've experienced it. You can make that connection. But for those who have no children, or especially for men in general who can't get pregnant, I know this is a debated topic culturally right now. Let me just clarify this for all of you. Men can't get pregnant. Okay. So. Okay, good. That's over. So, you know, for those of us who can't experience that on a natural level, on some level, we need to go to our lady after we receive Holy Communion and try to meditate as she did. Now, yes. We don't have to care for Jesus in the same way that a mother or father would as Joseph and Mary did.  Right. Because Jesus was actually a little baby then, and he really needed to be changed and fed and burped and all of those things. Okay. I'm sure he was a perfect baby, but still, he needed to be cared for. And you might think, well, Father, Jesus doesn't need me. Right. He's the glorious risen one. He's already conquered sin and death. He doesn't need me in those ways. And this is where you would be wrong. Because one of the things Jesus says very clearly to his disciples is what you do to the least of these you do to me. The way we treat others, especially the weakest, the poorest, the frailest, the sick, the imprisoned, all of these, the way we treat them is how we are caring for Christ.  Because in their weakness and vulnerability, they need help. Just like a baby, just like a baby would. And so that's why this kind of meditation is important for us. And it's not just an advent meditation. We should be meditating like our lady every time we receive communion, because the reason Christ is giving himself to you, Eucharistic Lee, is so that you can bear fruit in your life just like the mother bears fruit by giving birth to her child.  That new life that's the fruit of love. And that same fruit is supposed to be born in each of our lives as disciples of Christ. In essence, all of us are called to be like the mother of God. We won't be the mother of God, but we'll be like her in this. And it all comes about through Holy Communion.  And so what do you think about after receiving communion? When you go back to your pew, kneel down, fold your hands, what do you meditate on? Again, meditation, the highest form of prayer. Because it alters you. It changes you, ideally, supposedly for the better, but it only changes you for the better if you're meditating rightly on good and holy things.

 

Thinking like our lady with our lady, just imagine men and women alike. Imagine as any mother would, you have this life dwelling in you. I recently heard another comedian say, you know, that women get weird when they get pregnant for the first time. And she said that this one woman came up to her, and when she found out she was pregnant, she started whispering all the time.

And she's like, why are you whispering? She goes Because I have a living being inside of me. And she goes, what did you eat them like, what are you talking about? You know? She is it just seemed odd. But again, that idea of it changing you, because for us, we do eat them, and we do have a living being inside of us.  Whispering kind of seems appropriate on some level. Just the quietness that helps you to really think about what's happening, what's going on at that sacred moment. And for us, it only lasts for a few minutes at a time. So yes, we don't have the nine months of meditation the Blessed Mother did. But in the lifetime of a Catholic, it's very possible you would exceed nine months of all the communions that you could possibly have.  And in that sense, again, we are being conformed as the perfect disciple of our Lord. And that perfect disciple has always been the Blessed Mother. She is the model for each one of us, men, and women alike. So please, in this communion today and in your future communions, I want you to really go to the pews. Kneel, close your eyes, fold your hands, and just imagine the Blessed Mother with Jesus growing in her womb. And in that sense, again, we are being conformed as the perfect disciple of our Lord. And that perfect disciple has always been the Blessed Mother. She is the model for each one of us, men, and women alike. So please, in this communion today and in your future communions, I want you to really go to the pews. Kneel, close your eyes, fold your hands, and just imagine the Blessed Mother with Jesus growing in her womb.

Imagine this life, and in this case, this divine life of the Lord within you, at least for the few minutes that you have Him in this sacramental way. Just meditate. Just think on that and you'll notice over time it will change you. It will simply help you to be more patient, more loving, more generous with those in need, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

 

Homily begins at 20:29




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