Dec 20 (Lk 1:26-38)

A little six-year-old boy had often heard his Catholic companions reciting the prayer “Hail Mary.” >> He liked it so much that he copied it, memorized it and would recite it every day. 
“Look, Mommy, what a beautiful prayer,” he said to his mother one day.
“Never again say it,” answered the mother who was against Catholic practices. “It is a superstitious prayer of Catholics who think Mary as a goddess. After all, she is a woman like any other. ” 
From that day on the little boy discontinued his daily “Hail Mary” and gave himself more time to reading the Bible instead.
One day, while reading the Gospel, he came across the passage about the Annunciation of the Angel to Our Lady.
Full of joy, the little boy ran to his mother and said: “Mommy, I have found the ‘Hail Mary’ in the Bible which says: ‘Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women.

‘ Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?”
On another occasion he found that beautiful Salutation of St. Elizabeth to the Virgin Mary which said, “Blessed are You among women and blessed is the Fruit of Your Womb”
This little boy, as he grew up…

…. made a serious study of both Protestantism and Catholicism.

>> He found the latter to be the only true religion and embraced it and became one of its most ardent apostles… going on to become a Priest!

Mother Mary is indeed the beautiful instrument chosen by God, to lead many more to His Love.
The Gospel of the Day presents the miraculous incident of the Annunciation of the Good News to Mother Mary. 

Mother Mary, at the Annunciation teaches us many things…
1. Mother Mary teaches the supreme goodness of obedience

>> Heaven had chosen a simple girl, Mary to be the Mother of Jesus, the Saviour. 

>> When Angel Gabriel was sent to seek Her consent, Mary, after the initial moments of fear, bowed Herself in obedience: “Behold, I am the Handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to Me, according to Your Word” (Lk 1: 38)

>> This obedience to God’s Will would turn out to be Her fortress and strength – in moments of uncertainty, loneliness, dread and agony. 
2. “Faithfulness, thy true Daughter is Mary!”

>> One of the most outstanding qualities to be admired and imitated from our Blessed Mother is “to be faithful”

>> In Mother Mary, we have a person, who remained faithful at all times…

… even when there were dark clouds of unwarranted humiliation looming over her

… even when unforeseen difficulties encountered Her during the birth of Jesus

… even when she encountered many situations which were not understood by Her

… even when life surrounded her with agonising moments and heartbreaking instances

 
The “Fiat” at the Annunciation would be lived all through Her life

>> This act of being “faithful forever” was a result of the constant choices that She made to listen and obey to God’s Will always.
3. Mary was ready to be moulded and shaped by God

When Mary was entrusted with the greatness of the task, She gave Herself readily to the power of God

>> She didn’t hold back anything; She was complete in Her surrender
It is when we offer ourselves wholly and be ready to be moulded and shaped by the Lord, that He can perform wonders through us. 
4. Mary held on to Jesus as the Greatest Treasure of Her life

The greatness and the eminence of Mother Mary came as result of Her single-minded focus and love: Everything for Jesus and in Jesus.
>> When in womb…

… Her sole attention was on Jesus
>> While in the manger…

… Her whole care was for Jesus
>> While in His ministry…

… Her thoughts were centred on Him
>> While on the Cross…

… Her entire self rested on Him  
It is when Jesus becomes the Treasure of our life, that our lives gets enshrined in Grace and Holiness

5. Mary is the New Ark of the Covenant, bearing Jesus.

The Scriptures easily point to the fact that Mother Mary is the New Ark of the Covenant
The ark in the OT travelled to the land of Judah and remained for 3 months (2 Sam: 6:1-11)

>> The Ark in the NT, Mary travels to Judah, to meet Her cousin Elizabeth and remained for 3 months (Lk 1:39, 56)
David danced and leaped, and shouted before the ark in the OT (2 Sam 6:14)

>> In the NT, John, the babe, leaped and Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry before Mary (Lk 1: 41, 43)

Inside the ark of the Old Covenant was the manna – the miraculous bread from heaven, the staff of Aaron, the Priest and the tablets of the covenant (Heb 9:4)

>> The NT Ark, Mother Mary had within Her Jesus, the Bread of Life, Jesus, the Eternal Priest and Jesus, the Law-giving Word!
As the New Ark of the Covenant, Mother Mary deserves our highest veneration and honour, which will lead us to a greater closeness and intimacy with the One, She derives all Her praise – Jesus, Her Son and our Brother!

May we embrace Mary, the beautiful instrument chosen by God…

… and be led to love the Lord more! 

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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