Friday, January 1, 2016

Mary, the Mother of God

As history has built a moat between Catholics and Protestants, it is up to all Christians of good will to build bridges to recreate the unity that Our Lord intended. With this intention I put forward the following opportunities that arise from the celebration of this Solemn Feast in the church's calendar.

First, the Blessed Virgin was the first disciple of Jesus. She was the first to say yes to His call. When Gabriel told her that she would have a son called Emmanuel she accepted the invitation to discipleship thirty years before the apostles would agree to be "fishers of men". Despite her youth and the threat to her very life, she began a journey with the Lord.

Several years ago, the bracelets with WWJD (What would Jesus do?) were very popular. I always found this to be an unfair question. For one, not being divine precludes me from his exact ways to be sure, but more over it was Our Lord's mission to make disciples to Himself. I am not called to make disciples to myself but to Him that John the Baptist spoke of. To this end the church presents us Our Lady as a guide. Wouldn't What Would Mary do? be a more fair question. The Annunciation gives us our first hint of what Mary would do. At the Visitation, Mary praises God in the Magnificat with words that all Christians can echo with confidence. Our songs of praise can only attempt to match those which the Blessed Mother spoke in scripture. When Jesus is lost for days in Jerusalem and Mary is without His companionship, she is spiritually lost. Do we drop everything in our lives when we lose touch with Our Lord? And finally her words at the wedding feast in Cana, instruct us on what we should say to all we encounter. "Do whatever He tells you to." These are the final words of Our Lady in scripture. What remains to be to said for any disciple?

The second bridge which perhaps is further down the road for those are distant from the Catholic Church is the Real Presence in the Eucharist. 

As Jesus intended Mary to be the first disciple and dwelt within her, would it not follow that He would intend to dwell within all of His disciples in the same visceral way? Looking at His words in John 6, we see His intent to give all of His followers the same Life within them that Mary had. Mary physically had Jesus with her for thirty years, We can share that intimacy for short amounts of time through Holy Communion.

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