Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Solemnity of Mary, Queen of Peace, Mother of God

I’ve had a very strong devotion to the Blessed Mother for a number of years. I know the Lord has used her example and intercession to help me grow closer to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Mary was willing to do what God calls us each to do: put Him before everyone and everything else now and always.
When she was asked to be the Mother of Christ, she didn’t say something to the effect of: “I don’t know (or flat-out no), it wouldn’t be good for my reputation or my family if I became pregnant before living with my betrothed. Actually, since I would likely be stoned to death since that’s the punishment for a woman who becomes pregnant out of wedlock, I think I’ll pass.”
She asked how this would come to pass and is told: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:34-35). Instead of fretting over what her parents would think, what Joseph would say, what her friends might start whispering behind her back, Mary had the grace and trust in the Lord to respond with: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38).

What a wonderful example Mary was of being open to the Lord’s grace and willing to serve Him in whatever ways He calls us to be vessels, holy tabernacles for the Holy Spirit! There have been countless times when I’ve prayed to know God’s will and have the courage to carry it out, but at the same time, I’ve had a million things come to mind about what might happen in terms of adversity, struggle, pain, or suffering, if I submit to the Lord completely in mind, body, and spirit. I know doing so means He’ll likely bring about some major changes in and around me that will bring me closer to Him. Some of the Divine Pruning will be quite painful, though, absolutely necessary.
“Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Savior’” (Luke 1:46-47. These two statements seem to sum up what every person is called to do: be a tabernacle which reflects and projects the Lord and rejoice in the God who saves us.
Lord, thank You for the gift of Your Son Jesus and the Blessed Mother of God, who always point others to You. Please help us be open to whatever is necessary for us to become holier tabernacles for You. Plant Your will in our hearts and make it our deepest desire and most fervent longing. Amen.
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