The Angel Gabriel greeted Mary, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you! (Luke 1:28)” Reflecting upon it, we find that the greeting is so deep. It is a statement from God that Mary is certainly favored and that God is delighted with Mary. Mary is, indeed, filled with GOD!
This is entirely connected to the mission that Mary received at this moment of the annunciation. The mission of Mary was to be part of the story of salvation. Mary has a big role here, and that is, to be the Mother of the Redeemer of the World, who will bring peace and mercy. With Mary’s open heart, pure conscience, deep faith and love in God, she accepted the call from God and prompted her to declare, “Behold, I am God’s servant. Let it be done to me according to your word! (Luke 1:38)” She owned this statement and kept it in her heart despite her confusions and anxieties. However, it was Mary’s leap of faith that made her confident before the Lord.
As revealed to us in the bible, the role of Mary did not stop at the delivery of the child Jesus into the world. Mary was constantly with Jesus, as Jesus also was always with her. This relationship has allowed us to recognize and venerate Mary that she is without sin from her conception. In this way, Jesus shared Mary to us to be our mother who gives us the perfect example of being human. And in this relationship with Mary, we discover more, as church, our relationship with her.
We have experienced in many ways the love of a mother through Mary. And that was how we affirm this grace in Mary’s life.
In fact, the words of Jesus on the cross to her, “Woman, here is your son,(John 19:26)” and to the disciple whom he loved, “Here is your mother, (John 19:27)” reveal how we have been gifted through the person of Mary, as OUR MOTHER.
Consequently, we desire to offer prayers through our novenas and rosaries, even flowers, candles and material gifts before the image of Mary because we have felt the love of a mother. We kneel before her image to express our pains, struggles, confusions and doubts as well as our joys, dreams and hopes in life. This has become the expression of our affection towards her. And Mary, our mother has also expressed her affection and love towards us in many ways both individually and as a community.
Mother Mary’s whole life knew only love. There is no bitterness in the heart of Mary; no scars of fear or hate, only love. That is why, Mary would always choose to love which she always does. This love of Mary makes her affectionately close to us. Thus, we should neither fear nor hesitate to be close to her.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, we express our affection to Mary, our heavenly Mama, our Nanay. We remember too our earthly mother and all those who have become a mother to us in one way or in many ways.
Let us always welcome her in our life because it also means to receive Jesus in our lives for she will bring us closer to Jesus. Let us express then our deep gratitude to God because of this wonderful gift given to us through the person of Mary, Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
On this day, we express our deep gratitude to God for the gift of mothers, for my very own mama, and all the mothers in the world. Certainly, having a mother is one of the most beautiful and wonderful experiences in this world. The world, indeed, is so blessed to have mothers!
With Mary, our Mother, let us say a prayer for our own mothers.
Our Loving God, you have not just given us life in this world but you have let us experience the love of a mother.
Each of us is being carried in the womb for many months. Our mother has to carry us each day as we also grow slowly in her tummy. Through our mother, we first experience the beating of our heart. And the very first heart that we heard is also of our mother’s.
Through this, You have let us experience how close You are to us and how special our mothers to You. We thank you God for this wonderful gift to us.
Our Loving God, who is both Mother and Father to us and to the world, we humbly ask now Your blessing for our mothers. Grant safety and protection for them, wisdom and understanding, faith and charity.
We pray for our pregnant mothers that they may always find joy and consolation in the baby within their wombs. Grant them safe delivery.
We pray for our sick and aging mothers that they may find strength and confidence in You and in their children and friends around them.
We pray for the significant women in our lives who became our mothers through their love, kindness and generosity showed to us. Grant them peace and fulfillment of their hearts’ desires.
We also pray for those mothers who have passed from this life, welcome them all in Your presence that they may experience Your eternal comfort and joy.
All these prayers we ask through Your Son and our Lord, Jesus and through the intercession of Mary, our Mother. Amen.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Jom Baring, CSsR