Don’t be afraid to take Mary into your home

| Deacon Sam Wagner | December 17, 2013 | 0 Comments
A stained-glass window shows Jesus, Mary and Joseph on their flight into Egypt.  CNS/Crosiers

A stained-glass window shows Jesus, Mary and Joseph on their flight into Egypt. CNS/Crosiers

We are Christians because we have encountered Jesus Christ and said yes to his will.

But who was the first Christian? Was it St. Peter, our first pope? Maybe it was St. John the Baptist who leaped in his mother’s womb at the presence of Jesus at the Visitation?

The answer lies in the first Joyful Mystery of the rosary, the Annunciation.

The Blessed Virgin Mary was the first Christian because she was the first human being to encounter Jesus Christ and accept him as her Lord and Savior.

So total was this encounter that Jesus made himself present physically in her womb. Mary gave her “fiat,” her yes, to be totally receptive to God’s plan for her. His will was her will. This is why she responded: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

This “yes” is the answer to the question all God’s children are asked when we encounter Jesus Christ. “Will you accept this gift of myself?” “Will you accept my will for you?” “Will you accept this gift of salvation, of life eternal?”

And the Christian emphatically responds: Yes!

Doing God’s will

In our Gospel this weekend, we hear the story of St. Joseph and his encounter with the angel of the Lord in a dream: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her” (Matthew 1:20).

Joseph, being a faithful and righteous man, immediately obeyed God’s will for him and took Mary into his home.

Joseph then, is the first recipient of Mary’s intercession, for it is through Mary that he received the Messiah into his home.

Sometimes people like to lightheartedly say that they feel sorry for Joseph since he was the only person in the Holy Family not to be immaculately conceived. But in truth, Joseph could not have had it any better! What better place could someone be than to live so close to the Savior himself and his own mother?

If the goal is holiness, then this is where we want to be, right next to Jesus and Mary.

So how can we live like St. Joseph in the presence of Jesus and Mary? Simple: by prayer.

We can simply call on the names of Jesus and Mary and know they are with us. We can be “in their presence” just by remembering their love for us and by sharing the desires of our hearts with them.

By inviting Mary into our daily lives, we, too, can experience the joy of St. Joseph when he realized that Mary brings with her the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Let us then imitate St. Joseph who was so greatly blessed by living in the presence of Mary and Jesus. Let us, like St. Joseph, not be afraid to take Mary into our home.

Deacon Wagner is in formation for the priesthood at St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of New Ulm. His home parish is St. Mary in Sleepy Eye, and his teaching parish is St. Bernard in St. Paul.


Readings
Sunday, Dec. 22
Fourth Sunday of Advent

  • Isaiah 7:10-14
  • Romans 1:1-7
  • Matthew 1:18-24

Reflection
What can I do today to make Mary a bigger part of my spiritual life? My daily life?

 

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Category: Sunday Scriptures