The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph,
and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this,
they made known the message
that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed
by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things,
reflecting on them in her heart. (Lk 2:16-19)
Today is the beginning of a new year and, as it begins, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. We do this on the Octave Day of Christmas. For eight days, we have been celebrating Christmas Day. It makes some sense on the eighth day to reflect upon Mary’s role in that great event.
One of the titles of Mary is “Mother of God”. This is because she gave birth to Jesus Christ. Since Jesus is true God as well as true man, Mary rightly can be called Mother of God.
Being asked to be the Mother of God would be a very heady kind of thing. It could be quite confusing — as a matter of fact, the invitation certainly was confusing to Mary. It could be very frightening as well. Some people might be smug because of that kind of invitation. Mary, however, was quite humble.
Even with all the commotion happening at the birth of her Son — angels announcing His birth, a new star appearing, and the like — Mary “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Mary’s devotion to her Son was absolutely complete. She loved God enough to bring His Son into the world.
She is a great example to the Church of what it means to give oneself completely to God: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.”
She loved her Son, providing for Him and protecting Him as best as she could. She was a faithful disciple to Jesus and stood at the foot of His cross. Before His death on the cross, Jesus gave her to us as He instructed John to take her: “Behold your son. Behold your mother.”
She was present with the Apostles when the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost. Mary: Mother, Model of the Church, Intercessor, Friend, Comforter. What better way to begin a new year than to ask God for the grace that Mary had to say yes to His holy will.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for all parents, foster-parents, and guardians that they have the grace that they need to provide for those who depend upon them.