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Parochial Vicar

Father Mark Shoffner

Parochial Vicar's Corner Father Mark Shoffner

May 30, 2021

“The Angel, when he announced the hidden mysteries to the Virgin, that he might build up her faith by an example, related to her the conception of a barren woman. When Mary heard it, it was not that she disbelieved the oracle, or was uncertain about the messenger, or doubtful of the example, but rejoicing in the fulfillment of her wish, and conscientious in the observance of her duty, she gladly went forth into the hill country. For what could Mary now, filled with God, but ascend into the higher parts with haste!”
— St. Ambrose ‘plena Deo’

When St. Ambrose speaks of the Angel building up the faith of Mother Mary, it may seem questionable as we think of Mary as being full of faith. So, why would her faith possibly be increased? What she was though was full of grace. Unencumbered grace like the fertile prepared soil of a choice pasture. The pure and prepared soul for which the seed of the Word would flower and fruit. Her being spotless from sin allowed her to respond so hastily to the news from the Angel. She who was free, unencumbered by sin or the desire to commit sin was speedily willing to do the will of God and to see the performance of the Lord’s mighty deeds in the life of Elizabeth.

This week, Monday the 31st, is the Feast of the Visitation. It celebrates Mary’s visit to the hill country after her fiat. With haste, she could hurriedly go to see the great work God had done for her cousin, but too, she was filled with God and knew she needed to share her blessing.

Indeed it was a blessing of Elizabeth to receive the Mother of her Lord. Who then can we think of who needs a visit from us who bear the Lord in our baptism. There are family members, coworkers, many who need us to bring the Lord to them in our words and actions. Have we though? How can someone like ME do that? Perhaps, we can’t make that hasty response to God’s grace and bring Jesus to others because we are affected by sin. Ask yourself and listen. Do I suffer from unrepentant sin? Do my sins convince me that I’m unworthy or unable to talk about God to others? Listen closely...

The LORD has removed the judgement against you, the Lord is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear. Be not discouraged, He will rejoice over you and renew you in his love. Hear, Trust, Go to Confession, and Make Haste.

Fr. Scott and Fr. Mark plan to trade months in offering a weekly reflection or catechesis in our future bulletins. Be sure to check out what they have to share!

A Weekly Reflection or Catechesis

Father Mark's Archives


Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (1884)
Memory of Patrick McGraw
Window by Tiroler Glasmalerei
Innsbruck Austria

St. Mary Basilica Coat of Arms