Cycle A Mary, the Holy Mother of God

Numb. 6:22-27; Gal. 4:4-7; Lk. 2:16-21

Today's special Feast affirms that Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God. This Catholic Dogma finds its origin in a Bible passage that is found in the Gospel of Luke. After the archangel Gabriel had appeared to the Blessed Virgin Mary, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Upon her arrival, Elizabeth said to Mary, "And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?" [Lk. 1:43] Through Elizabeth who was full of the Holy Spirit, it was proclaimed that Mary was truly the Mother of God.

Mary’s Motherhood began at the moment when the eternal God entered human history. From that moment her life was filled with challenges. When the Angel made the announcement to Mary she was surprised and taken aback. She was aware of the challenges that awaited her. She walked a difficult path, knowing how costly her submission would be. The virgin birth of

her son Jesus defied scientific logic. There are indications in the gospels that Mary became, by virtue of her extraordinary and isolating circumstances, a contemplative. Twice, Luke indicated that she “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Lk 2:19,51)

Her challenges continued in the Prophecy of Simeon and Anna. Simeon prays a prayer of thanksgiving, and then he addresses Joseph and Mary: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Lk 2:34-35).

As Simeon prophesied, Jesus to fulfill his destiny, Mary would have to suffer. The Flight into Egypt; The Loss of the Child Jesus in the temple; The hostility people showed towards Jesus; The Condemnation of Jesus; The Crucifixion of Jesus. All these made her life miserable.

But Mary’s response to God’s calling was a simple unconditional “Yes”. Mary’s response is almost universally praised, but too often, the burdensome and gritty aspects of her carrying such a hefty responsibility as a woman are overlooked. It remained as part of her motherhood.

Love for their children make many women do impossible tasks. In April 2010, devastating tornadoes struck 17 counties in Mississippi. When one came barreling through Yazoo City, Nikki knew she had to protect her kids. The 30-year-old mom placed a mattress over her three small sons and planted herself on top of it to shield them as the house came down around them. All three boys made it through the storm, but unfortunately Nikki did not. 

The most unbelievable feat on the list of mom heroics, Angela's historic act of bravery is the stuff of legend. In 1982, in the small town of Lawrenceville, Georgia, her son Tony was working on his 1964 Chevy Impala when it came off the jacks and collapsed on top of him. Angela acted quickly, and with no hesitation the middle-aged woman lifted the car up about four inches and held it while neighbors pulled Tony out. Both physical and emotional strength were guiding her through this feat

Secondly Mary was concerned about the needs of others. Before Jesus officially kicked off His ministry, Mary, Jesus, and some of His disciples went to a wedding in a town called Cana. The wedding ran out of wine early (a massive faux pas for a wedding reception), and Mary turned to Jesus.

Jesus’ response was a noncommittal, “Why do you involve me? My time has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). But that didn’t seem to trouble Mary. She just went to the servants and told them, “Do whatever He tells you.”

John explains what happened next:

“Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

“Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so, they filled them to the brim.

“Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’

This wine situation is important to the bride and groom, and it means a lot to Mary that they should not be humiliated. So She acted quickly.

Once upon a time there was a child ready to be born. One day the child asked God, “They tell me you are going to send me to earth tomorrow but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?” God replied, “Among the many angels I have chosen one for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you.” 

Said child, “But tell me here in Heaven I don’t do anything else but sing and smile. That’s what I need to be happy!” God replied, “Your angel will sing for you every day. And you will feel your angel’s love and be happy.” 

And, said the child, “How am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me, if I don’t know the language that men talk?” “That’s easy”, God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.” The child looked up at God saying, “And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?” God smiled at the child saying, “Your angel will teach you how to pray.”

The child said, “I’ve heard on earth there are bad men. Who will protect me?” God replied, “Your angel will defend you, even if it means risking life!” The child looked sad, saying, “But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.” God replied, “Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you.”

The child in a hurry, asked softly, “Oh God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name!” God replied, your angel’s name is of no importance… you will simply call her, MOTHER!

Today we are celebrating the feast of Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of the whole creation. Trust in her and she will lead us in the right path.