Sunday, July 31, 2005

An Extraordinary Woman Among Women

Mary was the only woman to have looked down upon our Lord, whilst she was nurturing the baby Jesus, holding him in her safe and loving Motherly arms, and again as her beloved Son and God was lifted down from the Cross, she held Him close to her as her own heart was pierced and her anguish as she rocked Him in her loving arms.
But let us reflect on her life as we journey with Mary Most Holy. There is the Tradition that Mary as a young girl spent years serving in The Temple, as she prayed like many others for the coming of the Messiah which would free her people from the tyranny and persecutions which faced them all. So when the Archangel Gabriel visited Mary with the astounding news that it would be she who would be the Mother of God, Mary gave her FIAT and most humbly accepted God's Will, in a spirit of obedience.
But this was also a troubling time for Mary as her espoused Joseph grappled with what he could see happening to her, it was obvious to him that Mary was with child, but how could this be for this most humble and honourable of men had not touched one so pure as Mary, yet he also recognised that Mary was most pure and chaste, he was in utmost confusion. Joseph also knew the Law and wished no harm to come to his beloved betrothed, Mary, so Joseph in deep anguish decided to divorce Mary quietly so as to protect her from harm. It was as he was making this agonising decision that an Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and told him of the 'Good news' that Mary had conceived a Son through The Holy Spirit and the Son should be named Jesus who would save people from their sins. Joseph was deeply humbled that he was to be entrusted with the day to day care of one so Holy as Mary and his Savior Jesus, this most righteous of men was also an obedient servant of God.
Whilst Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, who was also pregnant with her son, the baby within Elizabeths womb leapt within her upon recoginsing his Savior Jesus, and she greeted Mary with these words, "Blessed are you among women, and Blessed is the child you will bear"....Elizabeth was stunned that one so Holy as Mary would go to be with her, the cousins embraced each other, as Mary sang her Praise of God in the Magnificant, her soul rejoiced in God her Savior...Mary returned home 3 months later to an overjoyed and relieved Joseph her chaste spouse.
Elizabeth would name her child John even though noone in her family had used this name nor in Zechariah's family but under the Inspiration of God, both parents chose John as the name, a sign of what was to unfold....
As Mary and Joseph Prepared for the imminent birth of their son and Savior a decree was announced by Caesar Augustus, that a census would be taken, Joseph then made preparations to take a heavily pregnant Mary to Bethlehem, the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. This must have been a very uncomfortable journey for Mary, as Jesus birth was upon her, it also must have concerned Joseph who wished to provide the best he could to help Mary and protect her as much as possible in full trust that God would help him with what he needed. So both Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem......

Peace of Christ to you ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Mary..Life of Our Holy Mother

Mary Who Is She?
Mary was an ordinary woman but what happened to Mary was extraordinary, in that God chose her from the beginning of time to help restore that which was broken through Sin. By giving her FIAT to God, Mary opened the Door to Heaven for each of us, for it is through her that our Lord and Savior was born to save ALL mankind, she is in effect Co-Redeemer alongside her Son and Savior Jesus Christ.
But let us take a more intimate look at Mary's life and ponder as she did the many Mysteries that have unfolded like a tapestry of Divine Gold Thread, weaving a design of such Majesty that our limited intellect cannot grasp.

Many historians believe that Mary was born in Jerusalem, the daughter of Joachim and Ann, some also speculate that Mary was born in Nazareth, but where ever she was born, Mary would have lived a very traditional life, learning the arts of cooking, cleaning and the religious Laws of her day, and like everybody Mary would have spent many hours praying for the coming of the Promised Messiah.
In a land which is harsh, Mary like many others learned to depend on God to provide for their needs, as the daily struggle to live in such a stark landscape, would have been very challenging for many hence their deep religious fervor. Like any place there would have been family squabbles, neighborly disputes as everyone went about their daily tasks, many of the women of the region would gather at the well to collect water as well as discuss the days events with each other, it was essentially their meeting place.
And as always life was difficult made more so by the politics of the day and the persecutions which they all suffered under, in a land known for its conflicts with its enemies of neighboring borders. These persecutions merely made the people of Israel more fervent in their love of God and their following of the Law, this would have also included Mary, who must have seemed like an ordinary young woman, not much different from those around her.
As was the tradition in her day, Mary's parents Joachim and Ann, arranged a marriage between their daughter and Joseph the carpenter, and this is where Mary's path took a very different course than any other person. It would change Mary's life entirely and also the world. For it was soon after her engagement to Joseph that the Archangel Gabriel brought to Mary the 'Good News',as the Angel exclaimed, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee...blessed art thou among women.' Mary was puzzled and deeply disturbed by these words and questioned the Archangel not out of doubt but from her purity of heart Mary said to the angel, "how can this come about, since I am a virgin?" The Archangel Gabriel then announced to her God's Will and Mary with utmost humility proclaimed the Greatness of God by proclaiming, "I am the handmaid of the Lord....let what you have said be done to me".
As we know Mary gave birth to The Promised Messiah who was named Jesus or Immanuel, and even though Mary is not mentioned a lot in the Bible, this does not mean we should disregard the impact she has had on the generations to come. For Mary is our most perfect example of womanhood, a wife and Mother who would have gone about her daily tasks of cleaning house, cooking, sewing, washing and nurturing the baby Jesus and to be a helpmate to Joseph her husband.
We need look no further than Mary Most Holy to define what it means to be a woman and a woman of immense Faith, who followed God's Will without always understanding the Whys of it, still in all humility and meekness Mary did the Will of The Father. For Mary did not seek glory for herself but to fulfill God's Mission through the Salvific Death and Resurrection of her most beloved Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whom she carried in her womb and as Our Lord was lifted down from The Cross, once again Mary Most Holy held her beloved Son and God in her arms.
More about Our Lady later.....

Peace of Christ to you ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

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