Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Merry Christmas!  Today is the tenth day of Christmas.  Is your tree still up?  Mine is!

Last Sunday, January the first, was the Octave of Christmas and the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God - a day in which we celebrate Mary's eternal motherhood.  She was born to be Mother - a vocation she attained by perfect obedience.  It is vitally important that we honor that motherhood which did not end when Christ died on the cross, but which transcends time.  Nowadays, human life is treated so cheaply.  Motherhood is too often perceived as a despised burden, one to be avoided at any cost rather than welcomed with joy and trust in our God.  We think we have it so tough, don't we?  But here is this girl who is humble and poor, and yet, God chose her before she was even born.   The King of the Universe chose her and set her apart for a holy purpose, preparing her for the choice she would one day be asked to make - Motherhood.  She chose to be the Mother of God's Son, with all the pain and suffering and joy that comes with that choice.  

Do you doubt that Mary is the Theotokos, the Mother of God?  Jesus the Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary's womb.  She gave birth to Jesus.  Since a person cannot carry or give birth to a nature, but to a person, Mary is Jesus' mother.  So...

Mary is Jesus' mother.  
Jesus is God.  
Therefore, Mary is the Mother of God.  

Through Baptism, we are adopted into His family, thus becoming Jesus' brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the Father, and sons and daughters of His Mother. Jesus Himself commanded us, "Behold your mother."  Our Lord was ever obedient to the law and honored His parents in every way.  When we do not honor His mother, our Mother, whom He LOVES, we disobey God's commandment. 

Why is this so important today?  I like the way G.K. Chesterton put it,

"Mary leads us to Christ, but Christ leads us back to His Mother, for without Mary's maternity, Jesus would become a mere abstraction to us."

God loves us, loves YOU so much that He gave His Only Begotten Son, born in a manger to a Virgin of the most humble nature.  His Love radiated in every miracle, culminating in the sacrifice on Calvary.  But He did not stop there!  Oh, no!  For God is a loving Father who cares for every need.  He did not leave us orphans, but gave us His Spirit to guide us and His Mother as our own.  His mommy is our mommy.

Mary's maternity is a gift from God, not just to her, but to all of us in every time.  Because of it, the coming of the Messiah is not an abstract idea, but a fact.  More than that, a person. 
God's Son.
Son of Mary.
Jesus Christ

Not so incidentally, today is the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.  Because of his humility and selfless obedience to God the Father, He was exalted and His name made above every name,

"...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." 
- Phil 2:10-11

Mary is ever pointing toward her Son, saying, "Do whatever he tells you." 

I am blessed with a loving relationship with my earthly mother.  We talk nearly every day.  In the past few months we have become more than Mother and Daughter.  I see her as my friend, one of my very best friends.  I believe with my whole heart that this would not have been possible if I had not obeyed Our Lord and accepted His Mother as my own.  When I did that, I was able to pray for my mom in a whole new way.  I asked God to bless her in wonderful ways.  I asked Him to woo her back to the Mass.  I took all of my hurt and pride, laid it at the foot of the cross, and then went and cried on Mother Mary's knee.

My mother recently came back to the Church after being away for many, many years.  As she tells it, she was talking to her priest, the same one who presided over my husband and my Sacrament of Marriage nearly ten years ago.  She told the priest that she cried every time she was at Mass.  He told her that it was not surprising, for she was falling in love with Jesus all over again.     I know what he means, for I have wept in the presence of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament - tears of joy and of sorrow and of love - fully aware of the fact that I am unworthy that He should enter under my roof, but desiring Him all the same.  I am where I am because I obeyed Christ and love His Mother.  I am where I am because I love Mary and obey Her Son. 

Praise God for Mary's maternity, for my mother's maternity, and for my own!

Now, if it's not too much trouble, Lord, would you please get to work on my dad?

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