Can We Be Like the Mother of God?

Can We Be Like the Mother of God?

January 1, 2015 | HNMWebmaster | Christmas, Discipleship, Evangelization, Faith, Guest Deacons, Homilies, Love, Mary, Saints, Service, St. Luke

Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God
January 1, 2015 – Year B

Readings: Nm 6:22-27; Psalm 67; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21
by Rev. Mr. Mike Stinson, Permanent Deacon

What does a Mother do? She helps her child grow. First, her child grows within her. Then her child is born. And then she encourages her child to keep growing, and she introduces him to others.

Like any mother, Mary remembered the events surrounding the birth of her child — the gospel says she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” These events showed the unique nature of her child. A human baby — but also God, come to earth in human form.

Like any saint, Mary is an example for us, a model for us. But Mary is unique – not just a saint, but the only sinless saint, and the one-of-a-kind mother of God. We look to the saints as models for our lives. But – how could any of us be the “mother of God?”

Mary allowed Jesus to grow within her. Can we do this? Yes. We can, and we should. How does Jesus come to live within us? Through encounters with his living Church. Through reading his word, and hearing it proclaimed. Most of all, through receiving Him when we receive the Holy Eucharist.

Mary gave birth to Jesus, then showed him to others. Can we do this? Yes. We can, and we should. We show Jesus to others in our words, and in our actions. We show Jesus to others by how we treat them. Are we merciful? Are we forgiving? Are we thankful to God and to others? Do we tell the truth, even when it hurts us to do so? As a church, how do we treat the poor, the abandoned, and the abused? If we treat them as Jesus did – by helping and welcoming them – then we show Jesus to others.

Mary encouraged Jesus to keep growing. Can we do this? Yes. We can, and we should. Mary had the unique privilege of helping Jesus grow from a baby into a boy and then into a man. Jesus is God, and of course he is complete and perfect. But we can help his presence – the awareness of his Holy Spirit – grow in the lives of others. We can help his presence grow in our community. We can help his presence grow in our nation, and in our world.

Mary nurtured Jesus, before and after his birth, and helped him live the life God called him to. She was the ideal mother. And — she did all this without sin. And are we called to do this? Yes.

None of us reaches the level of perfection she attained. But that’s our goal. To become saints ourselves. And it’s Jesus himself who makes this possible – who offers us forgiveness for our sins, who can help us share him with others, who can make us more like his mother.

How do we do all this? With the help of Jesus, how do we follow the example of Mary, the woman we celebrate today as the Mother of God? The gospel tells us. Mary shows us. And our actions at every Mass help us.

Our celebration of the motherhood of Mary is a celebration. It can also be a challenge and an encouragement to us. The good news is that Mary, and most of all her son, want us to be like them, and will help us to be like them.

Be like Mary. Let Jesus grow inside you. Reflect on what Jesus does for you. And show him to everyone you meet.

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