Today we celebrate the great feast of the Holy Family. We are really reminded today of one of the great mysteries of the Christian faith. Jesus came and was part of a family. He didn’t come and live independently. Mary wasn’t just a tool for bringing God to the world. But rather, God was born of Mary and relied on her as any child relies on his mother. He became vulnerable in the hands and the care of Mary, relying on her nurturing, on her goodness, her responsibility. It was a great reversal of roles, God, who is described as a mother hen in Scripture, becomes one of the chicks. He goes from caring for humanity to letting humanity care for him. What a great test to put us through!
As imitators of Christ, as co-redeemers, as followers, we are called to imitate Christ in all things. This imitation is not limited to suffering, not limited to our own specific crosses we bear. But this imitation includes caring for the poor, the lonely, the dejected. It involves self-mastery over vice. It involves meditative prayer and fasting. It also includes subjecting ourselves in obedience to Mary. Whether we like it or not, it was an example that Christ set before us. Mary became his mother and he honored her and became obedient to her. We must honor Mary. There are no questions about it. Authentic discipleship involves being Christlike in every aspect of our lives. When we imitate Christ in our actions toward Mary, and imitate the Archangel in our praise of Mary, we fulfill the very prophecy that the Holy Spirit spoke through Mary’s beautiful song in the Gospel of St. Luke. In doing this, we are one step closer to true Christian perfection.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.