Sunday Sermons for Children
By: Rev. Wilfrid J. Diamond
2nd Week AFTER EPIPHANY
"Oh Mother Mary, Please Help Me!"
"Mary the mother of Jesus was there."
Deep in the heart of every child should be a love of Mary the Mother of God. It should be a devotion like that of the little boy who went to Lourdes on a pilgrimage. He was a victim of paralysis, a helpless cripple in a wheel chair. As he sat in the great court of Lourdes, he prayed for a cure. "Lord, let me walk like other kids."
The long procession was passing by. The strains of the Lourdes hymn, "Ave Maria," were sung in hopeful voices. The priest was at the end of the procession of carrying the sacred Host in the monstrance. As he passed the lines of the sick he blessed them with the Host. Coming near the boy's chair, he stopped, blessed him, and passed on. How the boy hoped his prayers had been answered! He looked down at his withered limbs. They were still the same. He tried to get out of his chair and could not move. There was no cure.
Then across that vast courtyard above the noise of the crowd, above the swell of the organ and the change of the hymn, a cry rang out from the heart of that child, "Oh Mother Mary, please help me!"
Of course Our Lady of Lourdes answered a prayer like that one.
Mary's position as the Mother of God places her high above the angels. It places her closest to the heart of God Himself, and yet from that lofty position she is always willing to reach down and help us. No request is too long or too small for her attention. How sweet and charming was her behavior in this morning's Gospel! Seeing that the young bride would be embarrassed by the shortage of wine, she asked our Lord to perform His first miracle. Nobody is as close and dear to anyone as Mary is to her Son. She has but to ask and He grants her wish. That is why we must pray to Mary often - always. We ask her to use her sweet power in our behalf.
There is always one way in which you can test a person's religion. Ask: Is he sincere in his beliefs? Then ask how he feels toward the Mother of God. In paying attention to her we do not take away any honor from Christ. In praising His Mother, we are praising Him and there should be no limit to our praise. That is the way Christ wants it.
The artist Murillo painted his picture of the Immaculate Conception twenty-seven times. After each attempt, he was not satisfied. It did not praise Mary enough. On the twenty-seventh attempt, he painted the most beautiful picture of Mary ever painted.
Somewhere in the world there is a soul which loves Mary more than anyone else in the world. Why couldn't that soul be one of you?
A blind girl was once asked what she would most like to see and she replied "Sometimes, I think that I should like to see the Mother of God."
We too hope someday to see the Mother of God in Heaven. Therefore, we should listen to the words of Saint Bernard:
"If the winds of temptation arise, if you should fall on the rocks of tribulation, look toward that star - call on Mary. If anger or avarice or the allurements of the flesh have dashed against the ship of your soul look towards Mary. When endangered, when perplexed, think of Mary - call on Mary."