The Real Wonderwoman
In a world where authentic female empowerment is lacking, we can find hope in a perfect role model.
Solemnity of the Mother of God
Our Heart for Mary
“After the love which we owe Jesus Christ, we must give the chief place in our heart to the love of his mother, Mary." -St. Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri
It was the dawn of the redemption of mankind, and Mary of Nazareth was to play the part of leading lady. As God shows time and again, he chooses the unlikely. Even though Mary was of the bloodline of King David no one treated her like royalty. She lived a regular life in ancient Palestine. She did the everyday things you would expect, like praying her prayers, doing chores, and making meals, but it was in this obscure, simple existence that she was chosen to become the “New Eve.” As the world had fallen through Eve’s folly, its salvation would be ushered in by Mary’s fidelity.
In the Kingdom of Heaven, Mary is Queen
Like in the Jewish kingdoms of the Old Testament the woman venerated as queen was not the king’s wife, but the king’s mother. And just like subjects would never honor the queen mother in a way that would overshadow the king, we never worship Our Lady or give her the honor that is due only to Jesus Christ. This is how she wants it too! This is how we venerate Our Lady in the Catholic Church.
In order for Mary to have been worthy to be the mother of God, she had to be sinless. This is why Mary was preserved from Original Sin. Essentially Mary was “pre-baptized.” She received the effects of Christ’s redemption in advance so she could bear the world its long-awaited Redeemer. By God’s power this is possible: “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
From the infancy of Christianity, Mary has been referred to as Theotokos, which is Greek for “God-Bearer.” It was through Mary that Christ took on human flesh, while still remaining fully God. Theotokos was eventually translated to mean Mater Dei or “Mother of God.” This led to Mary being called “Blessed Mother.” Each of these names remind us of Mary’s special role of bringing Christ into the world.
At the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel came to Mary with the news that she was to carry our Savior, she responded with fiat, meaning “let it be done.” It may be easy to dismiss her answer as inevitable since she was free from original sin and its effects, but it wasn't a given. She was no robot. Mary could have said “no” just as easily as Adam and Eve, or the angels that fell from heaven. They were all sinless, and yet they rebelled. Compared to the rebellious choices of our first parents and the fallen angels, Mary’s “fiat” can seem so mild, when the irony is that by her obedience she committed herself to the ultimate rebellion. How fitting then, that Our Lady was named Mary, which in Hebrew means “rebellion.” By saying “yes” to God’s plan, Mary rebelled against the temptation that Eve and the angels could not withstand, which was to put oneself in the place of God. By Mary’s willingness to concede control and be open to God’s will, we received the long awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ.
We celebrate the coming of the Messiah, ultimately because of the “yes” of a woman.