Friday, March 6, 2015
Mary the Mother of God - A Model of Life
This feast not only commemorates Jesus becoming true man, it also commemorates Mary's willingness to be completely open to the will of God. When the Angel Gabriel explains that she will become pregnant with a son, and that He will be the Son of the Most High, she is confused. She replies, "How can this be since I have no relations with a man?" (Luke 1:34). Once the Angel Gabriel finished the explanation to Mary, she very openly responds, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, May it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38) Mary's resounding - YES to the Holy Spirit is a model of selflessness and resignation to the will of God that all of us as members of the Holy Name Society can learn from and should strive to emulate.
In the gospel of Saint Luke, we learn of Mary traveling to support her cousin Elizabeth, who despite her old age, was pregnant with a son. When Elizabeth first meets Mary she spontaneously says to Mary, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." (Luke 1:42) The child within Elizabeth's womb would grow up and give his life defending a moral code of life given to us by God. The child in Elizabeth's womb was St. John the Baptist.
This narrative from Saint Luke of the Annunciation not only teaches us the special place Mary holds in salvation history, it also teaches us the importance of following Mary's lead and being open to the will of God in our life in all things - the big life changing events and the small events in our life. It also teaches us the importance of life from the moment of conception and that all life is sacred - yes, God has a purpose for every human life and He is involved in every stage of every life, from the moment of conception until natural death.
The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is a Holy Day of Obligation. This year on March 25th all Holy Name Society members are encouraged to spend additional time in prayer reflecting on the obedience and humility of Mary the Mother of God and asking God to help us better emulate her fiat.
"Mary the Mother of God and patroness of the Holy Name Society, teach me to be a humble servant of your Son, Jesus Christ and to always be open to His will in my life. We ask this through the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Amen"
Deacon Thomas R. Tortella
Associate Spiritual Director
Archdiocesan Union of the Holy Name Society of New York
Michael D. Gores
Marketing Communications Director
National Association of the Holy Name Society