The angel came to Joseph in a dream and said to him, “Joseph do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.” He believed what he heard and took Mary as his wife. We might give the words of that angel some thought and reflect on what made Mary so special. As a church we hold Mary in a place of honor. The way we do honor her at times causes confusion between us and our Christian brothers and sisters.
Today we might want to reflect on the manner in which our actions and words can create division on a topic where we have significant agreement. Today we celebrate Mary the Mother of God which all faiths acknowledge is exactly who she was. But it took a council of the church to resolve the debate that she gave birth to God. If you want the history of this title go to the archives of my blogs and under feasts and holy days click on the blog titled Mary Mother of God.
But today I would like to not talk about history but how our actions can be misleading and instead of giving witness to the gift of Mary in salvation history we can cause others to misunderstand how Mary can today be a witness of faith. I will admit my bias in this area for I truly love Mary the Mother of God. I am in awe of her willingness to believe even when she knew how impossible the obstacles were to overcome. I know in my own life it was Mary that continued to draw me into the presence of God. I know as the shepherds did in today’s gospel that by coming to Mary I would discover who this Christ child was and is. I know that Mary opened the door to my encounter with Christ so in a way her yes was the event that made my yes possible.
Perhaps we need to ask Mary to place in our arms the baby she so willingly accepted. Perhaps we need to be like Joseph and ask God to speak to our hearts so we can honor Mary by embracing the gift of Christ. That is exactly what Joseph did after his encounter with the angel. If we could just embrace the promise of God that by Christ we became sons and daughters of God we would move from practicing our faith to living our faith. If we could embrace the promise of God that God will change our hearts by pouring into our hearts the Holy Spirit moving us to a new intimate relationship with God as “papa.”
If we could just allow God to do within us the same thing he did with Mary we too would become mother of God. For after all Jesus said, “…whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.” My brothers and sisters it is time to move from being an observer of what Mary did to becoming exactly what she was and bring Christ to the world.