Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mother of God and Mother of All God's Children

The vocation of Mary as Mother begins at the Annunciation, when she accepts the invitation of the angel to allow the Son of God to become human in form, flesh and nature within her own body. The development of her vocation can be only briefly outlined here, with the mention of several incident surrounding his birth: Mary's visit to Elizabeth; the prophesy of Simeon when Jesus becomes a son of the law; the birth of Jesus and the adoration of the shepherds; the visit of the Magi, massacre of the Innocents, and the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt.
A visit to Jerusalem when he was twelve brought both joy and sorrow to his mother, first when he failed to join them on the trek back to Galilee, then when they returned, and found him deep in dialogue with the teachers of the law. [He surely didn't need coaching for his bar mitzvah!]

The most sorrowful moments in this mother's life occur when her Son reaches the fullness of age. She meets him on the road to Calvary, watches him nailed to the cross, sees him pierced by the centurions lance, and is beside him again as he is laid in the tomb. But, at dawn of the third day, her joy is filled as she sees him soon after he rises from the dead.

If you know the Chaplets of the Seven Sorrows and the Seven Joys of Mary, you will no doubt recognize the incidents I've mentioned, and you will probably realize that there are only thirteen, not fourteen.

Before Jesus died, he consoles her with the assurance that her vocation as Mother will not end with His death. He turns to his beloved disciple, John the evangelist, and says, "Behold your Mother", and turns to her and says, "Mother, behold your son".

Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Galatians, reminds us that "God sent the Spirit of his son into our hearts, crying out "Abba, Father". Let us keep in mind that, at the very beginning of these Advent-Christmas meditations on the scriptures of the season, we were reminded that Mary is the Mother of the Son of God since she is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. So, we are no longer slaves to sin, but children of God, and if we are children of God, then we are also heirs of heaven, through the Mother of Jesus, who is Mother of God and Mother of all God's children.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, your children, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

On this first day of the new calendar year, we close with the blessing of Aaron:

The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly, and give you peace!

Happy New Year!

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