Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Prayer and Devotions
Mary, Our Mother
by Father Matthew Green, LC
Resolution: Examine your life to see if, like Mary, you are seeking God’s will in all things. Love God — and other people because of him — more than yourself.
January 1, 2008
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
Luke 2: 16-21
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. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, my Savior and friend, open my heart to hear your word and to discover all the riches you have prepared for me in the example of your Mother! I believe in your incarnation, I hope in its power to transform me, and I want to love you more and more in return for all you’ve done for me!
Petition: Help me, Lord, to appreciate and imitate the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
1. The Handmaid of the Lord. Mary’s name appears only twice in this text. Only once she is described as doing something. This is no accident. She is present throughout these scenes, but she does not want to be the center of attention. Any mother of a new-born child has all her love and attention focused on her infant; this is even truer of Mary. She knows her Son has come into the world to save the world, while she is only the “lowly handmaid of the Lord.” She knows her mission is to offer the Son to humanity and to guide us to him. That is what she does here: She lifts the baby Jesus to be kissed and adored by the shepherds, while she remains in the background. Her greatest fulfillment as a mother is to see her Son acknowledged and loved. If we want to understand Christ and Christmas, we have to go to Mary and contemplate them under her spiritual guidance.
2. Mary, the Contemplative. Mary did not merely do her duty and concern herself just with the practical aspects of caring for her child, the Son of God made man. She absorbed all the events surrounding his conception, birth, and life; she sought to discover the divine meaning and purpose behind every joy and sorrow, every word and gesture. She “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” from a perspective of faith. This is the attitude we need at Christmas — not live just the commercialism and festivities and then move on to the New Year as if nothing had happened. Rather, we should contemplate the mystery of Christ’s birth throughout the whole Christmas season, until the feast of the Epiphany. Mary is able to faithfully carry out God’s will because she ponders the mysteries of God in prayer.
3. Blessed Are Those Who Hear the Word of God and Observe It. Mary and Joseph were meticulously careful about responding to God’s will. When the angel told Mary she would conceive, she believed and accepted it. When an angel told Joseph to leave for Egypt, they went. They were also meticulously careful about keeping Jewish observance. They made pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the yearly feasts. They offered the prescribed sacrifices, etc. Here we see both aspects of Mary’s and Joseph’s carefulness combined: They have Jesus circumcised according to the law, and they give him the name prescribed by the angel Gabriel in the vision. Mary hears, believes, and observes God’s will in everything – the ordinary and the extraordinary. Thanks to her fidelity, Jesus was prepared for his mission. As both Elizabeth and Jesus himself (in his public life) say, she is truly blessed! We, too, will be blessed if we follow her example.
Conversation with Christ: Christ Jesus, thank you for giving us your mother Mary to be our mother as well! Her example teaches me how to follow you. Knowing I have her example and prayers to guide me gives me more confidence. Help me to live up to all you expect of me. Help me to be a true child of Mary!
Resolution: I will examine my life to see if, like Mary, I am seeking God’s will in all things and loving him — and other people because of him — more than myself.
It'S A DEAD HEAT!!!
CLICK BELOW OR BETTER YET? ASK EVERYONE ON YOUR EMAIL LIST TO GIVE ME A VOTE!!!!
9 HOURS LEFT!!!
We had the same problem two years ago but the Mayor quickly fixed this problem last year.
It's a very busy area.
Go and vote!!!
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The city should allow a snowmobile club to ride around the trails.
That would be a cheap way to do it!!!!
We should promote the trails all year round.
Not just the summer months!!!!
I never been at the Soup early in the morning so I decided to walk down and give them a helping hand!!!
Yes...they were there early making certain the poor got their coffee and eggs!!!!