Saturday, September 8, 2012

"So your strength is failing you? Why don't you tell your mother about it? . .

"When we were little, we kept close to our mother in a dark alley or if dogs barked at us. Now, when we feel temptations of the flesh, we should run to the side of our Mother in Heaven, by realizing how she is to us, and by means of aspirations. She will defend us and lead us to the light." --St. Josemaria Escriva

(Gospel text: Mt 1:18-23)
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
"Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means "God is with us."

Mary certainly was conformed to the image of the Son of God (see Rm 8:29, RNAB). Jesus shares Mary's DNA, and so Mary shares in Jesus' image most perfectly.

From her birth, which we celebrate today, Mary was conformed to the image of God. Her birth prepares the way for the events of our salvation: the Incarnation, death, and Resurrection of Jesus, the Word-made-flesh (Jn 1:14). Mary conformed so completely to God's image that she literally carried within her womb Jesus, the Image and Exact Representation of the Father's Being (Heb 1:3; cf Col 1:19).

Mary's conformation to God's image and will can be summed up in one word: "Yes". In this way, she perfectly resembles her Son Jesus, Who "was never anything but 'Yes' " (2 Cor 1:19).

Give Mother Mary the birthday present she most desires. Be not conformed to this age (Rm 12:2), but conformed to the image of Mary's Son, Jesus (Rm 8:29). Abandon yourself to the will, heart, and mind of God. Obey Jesus by heeding the words of Mary:

"Do whatever [Jesus] tells you" (Jn 2:5).

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