Mary the Mother of Jesus has many titles - Star of the Sea, Mother of the Poor, Blessed Mother, and more. There are so many aspects of this girl from Galilee
that inspire us at different times in our lives.
If Mary our Mother is to inspire us anew today,
it might be helpful for us to meditate on her experiences and qualities.
Her powerful ‘yes’ to God when the Angel Gabriel visits her, the excitement and joy of her visit to Elizabeth, the glorious words of the Magnificat.
The profound horror and the depths of her sorrow at the death of her Son.
Any time we stand before or see a picture of one of the magnificent Pietà statues – like the one by Michelangelo in St Peter’s, Rome – we cannot fail to be moved by the immensity of her love as her tears fall on the broken body of her son, Jesus.
But is there a danger in our devotion that she becomes just a symbol,
or a statue where we light our candles and then just walk away?
When I think of Mary as Mother of the Poor, it changes the way I see her.
Instead of a marble statue, I see a vibrant woman
with a deep and trusting faith
who is willing to say yes to what God asks of her.
She is not a passive recipient,
but an active participant.
She does not simply bow her head and do what she is told,
she has the strength and courage to act.
May we too be active participants in bringing about the change
for which so many of the poorest people in our world are hoping.
May we too have the courage to speak out
about injustice and inequality.
May we nurture a deep and trusting faith in God and in his Son,
so that we too might say yes when we are asked.
Let us be deeply aware that, long before we were born, every single one of us has been called by God to know, love and serve him.
We have been the constant recipients of his blessings.
How will we respond?
Unlike Mary, we were born touched by a sinful world.
But we also can become filled with grace if, like her,
we say a resounding and unconditional ‘Yes’ to all that God wants from us.
Let us ask Mary today to help us to love Jesus as she did,
right through the pain of the Cross to the joy of the Resurrection.
The Church affirms that Mary is Full of Grace (St Luke 1.28) and therefore has no room in her life for sin, as she, the Woman whose Son is the Seed that crushed the serpent's head and who Himself was bruised by the serpent, the Mother of the Redeemer (Genesis 3.15), is perfectly faithful and obedient to the will and plan of God. 'I am the Handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy Word' (St Luke 1.38).
Mary, in essence, is the Second and New Eve, who, freed from the power of sin, reverses the disobedience of the first Eve by her own obedience and fidelity to God. 'She loosed by her obedience the knot first tied by the disobedience of Eve' (St Iraneaus of Lyons). 'In the name Theotokos is wrapped-up the whole mystery of the economy of the salvation of God' (St John of Damascus)
Blog - "Earth and Altar"
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.