Click to hear audio homily
It is a great mystery why God called me all the way from South Korea to serve in Denham Springs, Louisiana. My parents have often asked me to come back to Texas where they live so that I can be closer to them. Yet, I have told them, “Mom and dad, I think God has plans for me here in Baton Rouge Diocese, and right now, here in Denham Springs.” Immediately following my priestly ordination in 2008, I left for South Korea to visit my relatives and to offer Mass of thanksgiving. Newly ordained priests spend their first month or so offering Mass of thanksgiving at places or with communities that have nurtured his vocation. One of the places I went to in Korea was a shrine dedicated to Blessed Mother called, Our Lady of Maegae or Rosary. It has quite a fantastic story to it.
We know that the Church is not a physical building but as St. Paul said, a Mystical Body. All of us here, are in some mystical way connected to our parents and our grand parents as the Mystical Body of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Yet, the Body cannot survive without the Head. It is Our Lord Jesus, the Head, who chose to build up His Body in Livingston Parish. And He has been a constant, daily presence at Mass and in the Tabernacle of our church. He has never left us, and He has not abandoned us. And we cannot leave out the neck of this Body. St. Bernard of Clairvaux said if Jesus is the Head, and we are the Mystical Body, then Blessed Mother is the neck that carries and connects all the graces from her Son the Head, to us, the Mystical Body. If we want a tangible sign that Jesus and Blessed Mother are building up and sustaining our parish every day, we don’t have to look any further than the flickering candle light above the Tabernacle. That vessel holds Jesus’ love for His children; it holds all the suffering that He endured as sacrifice to bring Heavenly Father’s children of this area back to the Father. Yet this Tabernacle is not as large as Jesus’ love, the Father’s love, and Blessed Mother’s love for all who reside in Livingston Parish. What is behind those doors of the Tabernacle will change every man and woman, if they but allow Him to do so.
When the North Korean soldiers felt uncomfortable around that statue of Blessed Mother in that Marian shrine, they did not realize that right below her was the Tabernacle that contained Jesus’ love for them. Those atheistic communist soldiers did not realize that God was reaching out to them with love through those doors of the Tabernacle. If they but allowed their hearts to change, they would have become fellow partners with God in building that parish.