Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

The Language of the Immaculate Conception

The Language of the Immaculate Conception
A sermonette on the novena of the Immaculate Conception
Keith Amodia, SDB
I delivered this sermonette last December 6, 2014.

Good morning!
I hope you’ll all be awake to listen to me speak Tetun although I also don’t understand what I’m speaking.
I wanted to give my sermonette in this language but I doubt I’ll be able to.
If you understand me, give me a clap!

Dader di’ak!
Ha’u hein / imi sei matan nakloke / hodi rona ha’u / ko’alia Tetun / maske / ha’u mos / la kompriende / saida mak / ha’u ko’alia daudaun.
Ha’u hakarak / atu hato’o / ha’u nia sermaun / iha lian ida ne’e maibe / ha’u duvida / se ha’u bele duni.
Se imi kompriende ha’u / fo basa liman ida mai ha’u!

Apologies to those who don’t speak and understand Tetun like me. I was just reading the introduction that was written by Bro. Gersio for me. You can ask him later what it meant.
Language is an important marker for human culture. If the event of the Immaculate Conception is such importance to our salvation history, in what language is it spoken? It was Fr. Rey dela Cruz who introduced us to the method and style of the TheoDrama. If so, in this drama between God and man, how did God speak to man and man to God?
Airline ticket office, Copenhagen: We take your bags and send them in all directions.
Doctor’s office, Rome: Specialist in women and other diseases.
In an Italian cemetery: Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.
It is too easy for us to be lost in a language and with it meaning. It is too easy for us to celebrate our Christian feasts and not really fathom their meaning. When I asked the question, what is the language of the Immaculate Conception, I had to look deeper to better appreciate this great mystery. Let me offer you my insights.
The Immaculate Conception was spoken in the language of obedience. This is how the dialogue came about.
Before time began, the Son spoke the first line of dialogue when he submitted himself to the will of the Father. The Word of God was prophesied to be made Incarnate. Christ heralded obedience through his Kenosis:
Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. (Phil 2:6-8)
It was the initiative of God that the Son be made man, and for this Mary was chosen and prepared to bear the Son:
We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful.
And so, it was Mary who responded in dialogue with the Son through her obedience. Her obedience was not that she was singularly conceived immaculate but that this purity was kept until she too would conceive the Son. And not only that, she had lived this purity from sin until the end of her earthly life. This obedience to the Will of God is the perfect response to the obedience of Christ.
I would have liked to see Bro. Donnie perform a solo in tonight’s concert, or his duet with Bro. Marc Will would be good. Choral songs however are heard well in more voices. Add Bro. Moise’s and you would form a triad chord.
And so it is that after Christ gave the first obedience and Mary responded with hers, that such dialogue should also be completed with my obedience. I may not have been immaculate conceived but I can always be reborn. This is our story with Jesus and Mary. I firmly believe that the Immaculate Conception was not meant to be a singular event but an invitation to join in the conversation. Can we speak the language?


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