Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God (2013) (I)

Today's celebration gives us an opportunity to reflect on something wonderful: the Gospel presents amazed people and shepherds and a reflective Mary.

The people are amazed because the shepherds told them about the message they heard from the angels. Everything took place as they said, and you know, we are very much like the shepherds, I mean, we are common, everyday working people who have been called by angels to witness the miracle of God’s salvation in the form of Jesus Christ. You may say that you don’t remember an angel coming to visit you or a heavenly host singing Glory to God in the highest, but at Christmas we are called by God to the manger. This is a grace. We have been called by God to witness His Presence on earth, to do our part in the salvation of humankind, that’s why we are here this morning (evening).

And we are amazed. When life’s troubles weigh on us, we still experience the reality of His Presence. We know that no matter what the future holds, positive or negative, we will not face it alone. The very names we read in the Holy Scripture confirm this: He is called Emmanuel, God is with us. His name is Jesus; the name that means Yahweh saves us.

In today’s Gospel Mary reflects in her heart the events of Jesus’ birth. She knows better than anyone that this child is both her’s and God’s. Mary has a unique role to play in mankind’s salvation. She gives birth to the Savior. She stands beneath the Cross. She becomes the mother of mankind. Her role in the work of the Lord does not end with His birth, it just begins and continues even now as we call upon her as the Mother of God and mother of the Church. Over and over again we pray in the Hail Mary, Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
When we do this we are asking her to use her unique relationship to God to call upon Him to care for us. That is why the Rosary is such a powerful prayer. In the rosary we are recognizing Mary’s role in our salvation as the Mother of God and our mother.

Today, on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, I commend the Rosary to you. Say this prayer daily. Don’t worry about the repetitions, don’t worry if you get sleepy while you pray, just say it or at least try, and let Mary take your cares to her Son.  Remember: our blessed Mother has a unique relationship with the Divine. She is the Mother of Jesus, She is the Mother of God, and she is always with us. The Eucharist and the Virgin are the treasures of this parish community. We can live without many things, but without the Eucharist and Mary are not going anywhere ■

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris