This past Wednesday, March 25th, we celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mother. The homily was indeed a great one and much needed for all of us during this concern over the corona virus. The celebrant mentioned a title for the Blessed Mother which I admit I don’t hear often – Star of the Sea. She is indeed a star for she guides of to her Son Our Lord Jesus Christ. However, I want to focus a little bit more on the second half of her title – sea. The sea is often associated with Gentiles where as the land has been associated with the Jews.
Why the sea ? It is because the Blessed has a mission to help expand the Church. She was helping the Church fulfill its new and everlasting convenant. Are there some other parts of scripture where this reference might be relevant ? Well, let’s consider two stories: Noah’s Ark in Genesis 6-9 and Saint Paul on his ship in Acts of the Apostles 27. Now ships in themselves are sailing because they are on a mission, a journey of sorts. Noah’s Ark has been associated as a prefigurement of the Catholic Church. Anything caught up in the Flood simply was not. It was built solidly to secure itself from outside influences. Noah and all who stayed in it survived. Saint Paul encounters a similiar feat with the sea and the storm which follows. If you read Acts of the Apostles 27:39-44, he’s eventually shipwrecked, but you also notice he survives and is protected by his ship as Noah was. He comes to Malta and eventually sails on to Rome.
Those not part of this Church are still part of the ‘Sea’. Souls are meant to be converted and join the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. This has traditionally always been the understanding of the Church. Pope Francis has said Muslims should be good Muslims and Jews should be good Jews. No brothers and sisters ! People who are not Catholic are called to conversion. There is no such thing as ecumenism. There is no such thing as religious tolerance. I’m not advocating people being rude and undiplomatic. That’s a sure way to keep people away from the Church. However, we are supposed to be converting souls. We are supposed to be advocating the traditional Latin Mass if you are a Latin Rite Catholic. We do NOT compromise this EVER.
Blessed Mother Our Star of the Sea indeed ! And may we the faithful help her in Christ’s mission to convert souls. May we weather the storms that confronted Saint Paul. May we accomplish this in a way that is good and pleasing to God.