“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (Lk 2:19) and on the Theotokos

TODAY’S GOSPEL

What was Mary reflecting on? All the wondrous things that happened in the last nine months, from the surprise visit of the angel Gabriel, the dreams of Joseph, the visit to Elizabeth, the journey to Bethlehem, the visit of the shepherds and their relaying the angelic message, and undoubtedly much more that she contemplated and prayed on (undoubtedly unceasingly) as she prepared for the birth of this Child and did the daily work of His upbringing.

With the mention of Mary’s heart (prayers) I am immediately reminded of Simeon’s prophecy a few verses later (“[and you yourself a sword will pierce] so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” — v. 35). Mary was intimately united with her Son’s Passion so when the centurion’s sword pierced Jesus’ heart, Mary’s heart was pierced as well. It is not difficult to imagine Mary’s life with her Son passing before her eyes at that moment and spilling out of her broken heart — a heart broken for us sinners as much as for her beloved Child.

When Mary said “Fiat!” to Gabriel, she began the process that inexorably led to Christ’s Passion and death. When she approached Jesus at Cana she set that process into overdrive, leaving us her final recorded words: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5) She did whatever God told her. She only asks that we imitate her disposition.

Mary poured out her heart for our sake. Let us learn from her. Now, she invites us to pour our heart out to her for God’s sake.

MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Today the Church blesses us with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Theotokos is the Greek term meaning “God bearer,” definitively applied to the Virgin Mary at the Council of Ephesus in the year 431. I thought it would be worthwhile to post some links to allow us to learn more about this awesome mystery and to provide information to those Christians and others who have difficulty with this reality or deny it outright.

The Church Fathers and the Mother of God (St. John Henry Newman goes back to the earliest writings)

Council of Ephesus documents

Defending the teaching (several articles from Catholic Answers)

Theotokos - Wikipedia

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