Today we gather to celebrate a Solemnity in honor of Mary – a day on which we remember, give thanks for, and ask for the prayers of the Blessed Mother under the title “Mother of God.”
In the early church there was much disagreement, believe it or not – about who Jesus was – and at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD – the Church declared that this title, Mother of God, was entirely appropriate for Mary.
In doing so they were affirming two things: first, that Mary did indeed give birth to Jesus – and second, Jesus was indeed – God – the second person of the Blessed Trinity.
To say that Mary’s life was remarkable, is an understatement. It was a one-of-a-kind life. And the way she lived out her life did nothing short of change the world.
And yet, there seems to have been a certain kind of simplicity about Mary – a certain kind of focus, a certain kind of humility and openness that allowed her to say “yes” to God – NOT simply once – but throughout her life.
It’s as if God kept inviting Mary to a certain way of living, a certain kind of life – a generous, loving, trusting kind of life – and she was willing to give whatever God was asking for,
was willing to bring whatever it was that God was asking her to bring— to her corner of the world.
And one day – one incredible day – God asked her through an angel to bear a son, the Messiah, the living God who was about to visit his people. We know Mary’s answer and how the story ultimately unfolded. In a very real sense, Mary gifted the whole world by saying “yes” – bringing the Incarnate God to a world desperately in need of him and his saving love.
And aren’t we supposed to do the same?
Sometimes we might think that our lives are radically different from Mary’s. And in many ways they are. After all, she lived a long time ago – when things we a bit less complicated, commercial and technical. . .
However, her life was NOT different in every way – certainly NOT in the most important ways –the ways that make a difference in the lives of others, the ways that change hearts and families and nations and the world. You see, if life is a party, if life is the celebration and manifestation of God’s great love and creative power — then Mary was asked to bring one thing and one thing only to the party — GOD
And she did it in the fullest sense possible.
What are we bringing to the party??
Cynicism? Judgement? Negativity? Despair? Hopelessness? Selfishness? A vengeful heart?
What exactly are we bringing in response to God’s invitation to life – what are we bringing to God’s people?
Like Mary, we are asked to simply bring one thing to all the circumstances and situations of our lives – one PERSON actually – the Lord Jesus – Emmanuel – God with us – and within us.
Of course, the precise way we bring God to others, the way we show them the face of God as best we can, does depend on our own unique strengths and weaknesses,
It depends on our individuality and our personality. But the gift is the same – and the world can never have too much of it – never have too much of God – never have too much love or mercy or kindness or generosity.
And so let’s say yes to God, say yes to the holy invitation – an invitation not unlike the one God gave Mary long ago. Let’s look to Mary to show us how to bring Christ into our lives and world.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us!