On December 23rd we once more repeated a gospel (Lk 1:39-47) from a few days before. Mary, having heard from the angel of her cousin’s pregnancy, quickly goes to visit her. Upon entering Elizabeth’s house, Mary says a word of greeting to which her cousin, in the Holy Spirit, responds that her unborn child leaped for joy at the sound of Mary’s voice. Elizabeth calls Mary and her child blessed and she credits her for believing the Lord’s proclamation to her would come to pass. Elizabeth’s words to Mary (above) convey the attitude of humility that we should have when calling upon Jesus’ mother for her intercession. How should it be that she comes to us, unworthy as we are? Why does she desire to plead for us to her Son? In the unique role set aside for Mary from all eternity, she was to become daughter of the Father, mother of the Son, and spouse of the Holy Spirit. Her freely chosen “Fiat!” upon the Annunciation sealed this destiny for her. Much joy and much heartache followed — more than we can ever understand. When her Son, on the cross, gave her to John as his mother, He gave her to us all. As the New Eve, obeying where the first woman disobeyed, Mary became the spiritual mother of all people. As the perfect mother, she wants to help us, to intercede for us, to plead for us, and to point us to her Son. We come as dirty, unkempt, and naughty children to a mother who cleans us up, provides instruction and reproof by example, and then presents our real needs (which may not be the same as our request — mother knows best what we need) to her Son. What great power she has been granted by God to advocate on our behalf! Let us always treat the mother with the honor that is demanded by the fourth commandment. And let us never hesitate to run to her in our every need.