More Spiritual Reflections

Spiritual Reflections


Homily for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Sr. Maria Rose Kelly, IHM
IHM Center, Scranton, PA
December 08, 2005

The following reflection was offered at a Eucharistic liturgy on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On this day each year the IHM sisters renew our commitment to God, to one another and to the people we serve.

My reflection this morning will be a connection between today's scriptures and a wonderful line from E.E.Cummings. 

He writes: "Yes is a world, and in the world of yes lie skillfully curled - all worlds.
Today's reflection is about the profound worlds in worlds in worlds that are created by saying YES.

The first YES celebrated by today's feast is God's endlessly creative YES to creation. This YES of God is so deeply fruitful that millennia on millennia of life has poured forth -- and there's no end in sight. From God's "let there be" every world has come -- all skillfully curled into worlds on worlds.

God's "yes" is the beginning and end of all other worlds. God's yes can accommodate even sinful yeses to serpents and forbidden fruits. God's yes can work around our sinful yeses and work a different plan of salvation.

It is this limitless Yes of God that we celebrate today.

This feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates Jesus' YES -- our Jesus who was not alternately YES and NO but who was always YES. This Jesus in whom we were chosen before the foundation of the world. This Jesus who was in the form of God -- but did not think equality with God something to be grasped at but rather . . . said YES to emptying himself - said YES to taking the form of a slave, said YES to coming in human likeness . . . humbling himself . . . said YES even to death on a cross.

Jesus' YES . . . Jesus life, death and resurrection are worlds skillfully curled into the eternal yes of God.

Today we celebrate the skillful curling of Mary's YES, her world, her child, into God's world of YES and ours.

This YES, this "Be it done as you say" - this YES spoken in time - as all human words are spoken -- this YES hoped for but not demanded -- this freely spoken YES whose future worlds could not be imagined -- this YES of Mary we celebrate today.

And, of course, each of us here can celebrate and be awed by our own most important Yeses -- the "be it done's" that have formed and fashioned our own lives. Probably for most of us, our own initial world-creating YES was said quite young - as Mary's was. We and she didn't have a clue about what it would mean. And from that world of YES to Poverty, Chastity, Obedience, to IHM or to husband or wife, to friend, to life work, or charity, to children, to parents, all subsequent worlds have been skillfully curled.

It does inspire awe in me and I must admit - some fear as it did in Mary. This saying of YES to God and God's as yet unknown skillfully curled designs can be "greatly troubling." It is in these words of today's scripture that each of us can take comfort and courage as we try to dare to say YES to God:

The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the most high will overshadow you. Nothing is impossible with God."Yes. "Yes is a world and in the world of
Yes - lie skillfully curled - all worlds."