While Jesus was still talking to the people, his mother and his brothers wanted to speak to him and they waited outside. So someone said to him, «Your mother and your brothers are just outside; they want to speak with you». Jesus answered, «Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?». Then He pointed to his disciples and said, «Look! Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is for me brother, sister, or mother».
In celebrating the presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we recognize not only the mysteries of the Incarnation revealed in Mary, but also the divine preparation for the only-begotten Son to find a place worthy of Him among men. Through this feast the Church of the Lord affirms that in Mary, the Mother of God, the humanity of the day still finds worthy to welcome Christ in him, provided that this humanity listens to the Word of God and puts this Word into practice.
God has His own way of doing and inviting us, without giving any details of the divine projet to us. Our faith in God, will teach us to trust the project and go ahead in life, though at present nothing look as a posible or practical project. God had his way of preparing Mary and supporting her, by preparing Joseph to accompany her, for a possible misadventure.
We deeply believe, we are in formation, like Mary, for the very special project, very dear to God, the salvation of the world. We must learn from Mary to put ourselves at the service of God, through our concrete and positive commitment to human development. The more we put ourselves on the path of divine love and mercy, as Jesus asked us to do, the more we will be able to participate in the fulfillment of the divine will, the salvation of mankind. May this feast, in these troubled moments, bring us peace and hope.
Action of the day : Trust in the Lord.
«Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants is my brother and sister and mother»
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today the Church remembers the moment when the little Mary completely surrendered her heart to the Most High. Holy Mary was full of grace and without any hint of sin from the first moment of her conception in her mother’s womb, St. Anne. Evidently she was not aware of this status, but she certainly was fully unfailing.
The Christian tradition is convinced that Mary, being very young, decided to fully dedicate herself in soul and body to God. In fact, this is why in such day as today, but in 543, in Jerusalem, the dedication of the church of Holy Mary la Nueva took place.
How singular the ways of God are! Quite often so subtle but always effective. In ancient times it was totally unthinkable that a girl should not be given in marriage. A "single" girl, she alone, but what Mary intended was rather the opposite. So, these are the ways of the Holy Spirit! The young Mary was betrothed to Joseph. No doubt the Divine Providence had prepared a holy man – whom we also imagine young – who would be able to take care of Mary "as God commands."
We do not know how, but we can assume that Mary and Joseph had agreed to give themselves completely to God by sharing a "virgin marriage" (something also unthinkable). If it was not through this peculiar way, how could the virginity of St. Mary be protected? Surely St. Joseph was the only Jewish boy capable of accepting the mission of protecting Mary's virginity through a virgin marriage. Both of them, as brothers, fully dedicated to the will of God.
Finally, it turned out that such a peculiar marriage - virginal - was the precise instrument God had prepared to "send" His Son "born of a woman, born under the Law" (Gal 4:4). "Mary first conceived Christ in her heart before conceiving Him in her womb" (St. Augustine). We too, in imitation of St. Mary, can conceive Jesus in our hearts through faith and obedience to God, since «Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants is my brother and sister and mother» (Matt. 12:50).