Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Feast of St. Mary, Mother of Our Lord

Isaiah 61:7-11 "Instead of your shame you shall have double; and instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be to them. For I, Yahweh, love justice, I hate robbery with iniquity; and I will give them their recompense in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their seed shall be known among the nations, and their offspring among the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which Yahweh has blessed.” I will greatly rejoice in Yahweh, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord Yahweh will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children. And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Luke 1:39-55 Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, 1:40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. It happened, when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, that the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She called out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!” Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord. My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for he has looked at the humble state of his handmaid. For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed. For he who is mighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name. His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him. He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down princes from their thrones. And has exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things. He has sent the rich away empty. He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy, As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his seed forever.”

Mary is truly the Mother of God and in this passage she speaks on behalf of the church. The Holy Spirit is truly present here and does what He always does. He doesn't speak of Himself but speaks of Christ. The Holy Spirit works faith in John the Baptizer, causing him to leap in his mother's womb when Mary spoke her words of greeting while bearing the Christ-child. John the Baptizer was not a prodigy, he didn't have superhuman cognitive ability. But faith is a gift and he was a receiver of that gift. Through the Word spoken by Mary faith was worked in the heart of John the Baptizer just as faith is worked in us through the Word spoken by the church. The Word of the Church is powerful because it is given to her by the authority of Christ. The Church repeats Christ's Words. Mary had Jesus within her in an objective way. He wasn't some feeling in her heart. He was truly present in her womb. Christ is not present in some sentimental way in His church. He is truly present and objectively gives us His body and blood in the sacrament of the Altar through the instrument of the church.

Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit and doesn't start talking about her feelings. She talks about Jesus. She speaks of her own blessedness as an objective reality--not because of some sinless life but because of what she has been given. She is the God-bearer! All generations must call her blessed! It would be crazy not to! God's mercy and strength are objectively displayed in making her the God-bearer.

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