Last week, Christians around the world celebrated the birth of Jesus. Born in a humble place, to a young maiden and a carpenter, the promised Messiah became flesh to live among us. Over 2,000 years later, the world continues to rejoice every year as the Church recalls what happened that day in the town of Bethlehem. A glorious occasion, Christmas Day is surpassed only by the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
But to fully understand Christmas, that is, to understand what is so glorious about the birth of Jesus, one must understand who his mother is – the Theotokos, the Mother of God – the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mary is holiness personified, the Immaculate one set apart by God to give birth to His Son. Her holiness is the greatest among all the saints and ought to be emulated by all Christians.
She is mother not only to the child Jesus, but mother to all the Church, given to us by her Son when he hung on the cross. Accordingly, we should treat her as such, honoring her preeminent place in God’s plan of salvation.
She is the perfect example for all Christians, teaching us how to say “Yes” to God’s will and how to listen to Her Son. From the moment the angel Gabriel appeared her, until tradition tells us she was assumed into heaven, the Blessed Virgin inspires the Church to a life devoted to the Messiah.
She is constantly at prayer for the Church, always pleading with her Son to hear the cries of His people. The Church never presumes that she answers our prayers, but rightfully acknowledges the unique role the Blessed Mother plays in the Church’s life at prayer.
She is the perpetual virgin, not as a means to warrant her favored status before God, but as a testament to her other title – the new Eve. In this state, she inspires women of all ages and in all stages of life to purity and righteousness.
She is humble, not seeking to replace her Son, but directing us to Him. When we honor her, we honor Jesus. When we venerate her, we venerate Jesus. When we hail her, we hail Jesus.
She is Mary, the Mother of God, the most noble gem in all the Church, save her Son to whom she gave the world.
Merry Christmas my friends, our Savior is born! Together we rejoice – for Him and for His mother. For to know Jesus is to know Mary. To God be the Glory!