By JENNIFER BURGIN
And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
The Holy Spirit comes upon... a beautiful, humble young woman named Mary. She is schooled in the Law of Moses and understands her duties as a faithful Jew in a patriarchal society. She embodies childlike innocence and spirit; yet, the time has come to take on adult responsibilities. She is betrothed to Joseph, a much older man with admirable carpenter skills. He may be poor, but he is still a good, honorable man.
Mary cannot believe the news from the Angel Gabriel: She is with child! It's not Joseph's baby but the Lord's. What?! How can this be since she is still a virgin? Why was she chosen as the mother of the Son of God?
Mary was part of the Divine Plan from inception. The New Ark of the Covenant; the New Eve; the Holy Mother of God whose "Yes" began a destiny for all of humanity. Not a revolution designed for idolatry, despair, and hate but an evolution based on faith, hope, and love.
Nothing is impossible...with Our Blessed Mother interceding and protecting us from harm. Born without sin from the moment of her conception, Mary is the perfect example of maternal holiness. She nursed the child Jesus as an infant and experienced the "terrible 2's" like any other mother! She handled the rebellious Jesus when he ran away to the temple and witnessed her son's first miracle at a Cana wedding. She mourned and wept when Jesus died nailed to the cross; a gut wrenching pain too terrible to describe. Only a mother who has lost a child can understand. Despite all of the joy, happiness, worry, and sadness Mary still persevered, strengthened by faith in the Lord. Nothing seems impossible when we know Christ is with us, in us, and through us.
Mother of the Living... Adam and Eve disobeyed God when they ate forbidden fruit. As a result, evil entered the world. Pain, sickness, famine, war, and death became commonplace. Comforting to know Mary's "yes" reversed the course of history....
Satan won't get his way with Our Blessed Mother in the way! Evil won't succeed in the world with Jesus Christ, our saving Lord!
Mary, humble and pure, chose to give birth to the Son of God without expecting anything in return. She trusted the Lord to take care of her. She trusted in Joseph to love her. Her ultimate "yes" brought about new meaning to the word living - Living a full life fully obedient to God. Taking the good with the bad, always striving for holiness.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for Us!
"Sinless Virgin, let us follow joyfully in your footsteps; draw us after you in the fragrance of your holiness." - Divine Office Morning Antiphon, Feast of the Immaculate Conception