Immaculate Conception

From a homily on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

My parents, when I was a child, emphasized manners. One improper enterprise of mine, for which I was often called to task, was drinking milk or Gatorade straight out of the bottle. Having a requisite glass to a drink is a courteous gesture. The rest of my family suffered from my inelegant action. It reminds me of Hilaire Belloc's limerick:

Of Courtesy, it is much less
Than Courage of Heart or Holiness,
Yet in my walks it seems to me
That the Grace of God is Courtesy.

But this is not to be about courtesy; rather the concept of a glass. The glass makes the drink. Think of how many types of glasses there are: champagne flutes, wine glasses, beer mugs, beer steins, margarita glasses, brandy snifters, whiskey tumblers, juice glasses, coffee cups and so on. I suppose we could drink all draughts from the same cup. But say I went to a nice restaurant and drank wine out of a red Solo cup, you would be turned off by me. And say at that same restaurant I drank straight from the wine bottle, without any glass at all, you would think I had a problem. I might even be kicked out of the restaurant. A glass, and the proper glass at that, is necessary.

Mary was the perfect glass. That is what we celebrate today. She was the stein for the German beer; the shot glass for the Jameson; the baby bottle for the formula. Sure, Jesus could have simply come into the world. He could have just appeared. But it would not have been proper. Jesus once said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink” (Jn 7:37). We are able to do so because of Mary. Jesus is drinkable because of his glass.

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