The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patronal Feastday of the USA (Solemnity)

 

Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you. 

 

If you have any experience of motherhood, you know that it takes a lot of faith.   In many ways, it’s something beyond your control.   Suddenly, you have a new life inside of you.   You do your best to nurture that life, but you don’t know how everything is going to turn out.   You do everything you can to assure that your child will be loved and supported.   Still, you have to trust God for the big picture.

As we honor Mary today, let’s remember the deep faith she had, not just to be a mother, but to be the Mother of God!   She didn’t comprehend how she could give birth to the Son of God, but she still said yes to the angel’s invitation.   She was told she would suffer greatly because of her child, but she still obeyed.   Mary was clearly no shrinking violet!   She took care of Jesus for thirty years, endured his crucifixion and death, and stayed true to him until the end.

Mary has many things to teach us.   Like her, we are called to bring Jesus into this world, and like her, we too will suffer.   When we face the challenges and temptations of life in this world, we can forget about the Lord and follow the path of least resistance.   Or we can do as Mary did and hold fast to our faith in God’s greatness.   We can trust that he will look after us if we remain humble and open to his word.

Mary is more than just an idealistic example of perfect faith.   She is a mother, and she loves us as her very own children.   St. John Vianney tells us, “Mary’s heart is so loving toward us that the hearts of all other mothers taken together are but a piece of ice in comparison.”

So go to Mary—and not just for your needs.   Ask her to help you grow closer to Jesus.   And go with great confidence.   Remember the angel’s words, “The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28).   She is a privileged insider in the heavenly court, and she is already praying for you!

“Jesus, thank you for your Blessed Mother!   By your Spirit, help me to imitate her virtues and call upon her in times of need.”

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98:1-4
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12

Word Among Us