Saturday, March 28, 2009

They're Watching

This one really hits home.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Annunciation of the Lord

Tomorrow (March 25th) we celebrate the Annunciation of our Lord. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains to us that, The Annunciation to Mary inaugurates "the fullness oftime," the time of the fulfillment of God's promises and preparations. Mary was invited to conceive him in whom the "whole fullness of deity" would dwell "bodily." The divine response to her question, "How can this be, since I know not man?" was given by the power of the Spirit: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you." (CCC 484)

In the Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel announced God's plan for Mary to become the Mother of God. Mary questioned the Archangel, "How can this be since I do not know Man?" Then the Archangel responded by saying that the conception of Jesus would be of divine origin; in other words, the Holy Spirit would overshadow her. Mary responded, "Yes, Thy will be done." (By pronouncing her "fiat" at the Annunciation and giving her consent to the Incarnation, Mary was already collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish. She is mother wherever he is Savior and head of the Mystical Body. [CCC 973])

This simple response is a powerful testimony to the perfection of Mary's spiritual life. Indeed, God endowed Mary with many special privileges, graces, and attributes because she was to be the mother of God; however, it was her humility and obedience to the Father that is the hallmark testimony of her faith. Disobedience of Adam and Eve brought sin into this world, and it was the obedience of the new Eve (Mary) and the new Adam (Jesus) that brought about redemption and salvation. This perfection of Mary is an example for any faithful follower of her Son to practice, "Not my will, but Thy will be done."

[1] The New Rosary in Scripture. Edward Sri. Servant
[2] Catechism of the Catholic Church

{The mystery of Christ begins with the Annunciation to Mary on March 25th, and nine months from that date brings us to December 25th!}

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mary: Mother of God and Our Mother

Catholics honor Mary because God has honored her. God has given Mary the highest honor that is possible for a human person. Are we speaking of the honor that God bestowed on her when he took human nature from her flesh and dwelt in her womb? Actually, no. There's another reason why Catholics honor Mary. Do you remember in the Gospel of Luke , when a woman cried out to Jesus, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!" Jesus replied - "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it." (Luke 11:27-28)

We honor Mary above all because of her faith and total submission to God's will and plan. When the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she was to be the mother of "the Son of the Most High," who would inherit the throne of King David and rule forever, Mary did not doubt, even though she was a virgin. She replied, "I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). For this response of total faith, the Holy Spirit inspired her cousin Elizabeth to tell Mary, "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord" (Luke 1:45). The Lord honors Mary because she, above all people, heard the Word of God and kept it.

After her cousin Elizabeth had praised her, Mary in turn directed all the praise and glory to God: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, . . . for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name" (Luke 1:46-49). This great hymn of praise to God, Mary's Magnificat, expresses perfectly her heart and her attitude.

Catholics see Mary as one of God's greatest gifts to the Church. Mary is a model for all Christians. Mary lived her whole life in perfect obedience to God, by faith in God, wholeheartedly responding to God's grace and call. She is a model of discipleship (following Jesus), a model of faith and a model of the Church, expressing all that God calls the Church to be and to do.