At the beginning of Mass today Father collected our prayers and petitions and lifted them up to God the Father with these words.
‘O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed on the human race
the grace of eternal salvation,
grant, we pray
that we may experience the intercession of her,
through whom we were found worthy
to receive the author of life,’
Today we celebrate Mary’s title as ‘Mother of God’, and with that title we celebrate her fiat to allow God to work through her.
It was through her yes that salvation was able to walk among us. Could God have accomplished this feat without her? Yes; but He didn’t. He desired that humanity would have a part in this supreme act of redemption. Could He have chosen another person? Yes; but He didn’t – she was the perfect creature. But why?
All of creation, when the Archangel Gabriel came to her with God’s greeting and offer, held its breath. Would this young maiden, understand what was happening? Would she comprehend what was being asked of her? Would this girl of Nazareth raised in the turmoil of occupation; living her life in the fear of the Romans and their henchmen; just trying to survive each day be able to see the large picture? Would she be able to put aside the fear of the unusual and seemingly sinful request of a perceived adulterous motherhood to bring salvation into the world?
I would venture to say it wouldn’t matter to her. The divine reasons, the eternal considerations for this request by the Archangel Gabriel would not be needed – God asked and she said yes. God almighty came to her and asked to do something so she agreed. God desired her participation and she would because God had need of her. This simple, yet perfect, faith of Mary enabled the death of death to be born man, and in an important way we too were born; because we are born into the life our God. By her total and unquestioning obedience to God we have eternal life at our grasp if we accept it.
People who don’t understand think we worship Mary – no, she is not God. They think we put her on a pedestal – yes, so all can see her. Why? Let us look to Mary this New Year – she who allowed God to work through her, and who, by her simple and total faith and through example and actions points us constantly to her Son – and follow her example; allowing God to work through us. To me, in my heart, this is the meaning behind Holy Mother Church’s celebrationsof the title ‘Mother of God’
Happy New Year!