Why honour the Blessed Virgin Mary?
IN MAY WITH MARY -As I welcome you to the 5th Month of this year, and as we continue to thank God for all His benevolence to us and to our loved ones; I would also invite us to walk in faith with the Church as she reflects on the personage of Mary - The Mother God; of the Church and of ourselves. Just as man’s Life and History of salvation is incomplete without referent to God’s love, so also, is that of ours with Her: - The Woman of Nazareth. I therefore enjoin you, to not just reflect with the Church, but strive to love her the more; because it is only in loving her that you will come to understand her more, learn more of her, especially her roles in man’s salvation, even till our present time and as we venerate her this month, the church re-invite us to rediscover her, to invoke her maternal intercession because, when we call on her, she answers us as the loving and the affectionate mother but unfortunately we do not even call on her enough.
In this “30 Days of Devotion to Mary”, In union with the Church I enjoin us to reflect together and pray together with her and through her and the best way is: -Simply pray the rosary: -The Angelic Salutation (Lk. 1:28, 42, Bible: DRV) which is a very simplified version of Mary’s testimony and praise to God: -The Magnificat (Lk. 1:46-55, Bible: DRV). Pray it as an individual; as a family; as a community and as a church. Let us then invoke her to wrap her mantle of peace around us. This month talk with her as a child speaks to the mother. Tell Her everything that is on your heart and ask her to bring you closer to her Son. She loves us – each and every one of us immensely and will do anything to get us to heaven. Show her how much you appreciate her love, care and sacrifice for you. This goes also for your earthly mother, who brought you into this world, as well as your heavenly mother who will carry you to the next. In this month, If you still can’t find reasons to love and honour her, I invite you then to reflect on the following:
1. Mary is Jesus’ mother because, she is the instrument of the incarnation and her yes ‘Fiat’, made it possible for our Lord to become the God-Man who was Crucified for our Salvation.
2. She is the first and most perfect disciple –Mary was the first to hear the Good News, and the first to follow Christ. Her entire life was devoted to him and assisting him, in whatever way she could, to carry on his mission. Unaffected by Original Sin, she was able to perfectly open herself to God’s will.
3. She is our mom –No, really. She is. To put it simply, she’s our mother because we are all members of the Body of Christ. Since she gave birth to that Body, then she’s our mother, too. At the moment she gave her fiat, she became our mother in the order of grace. She may not have given birth to us physically, but she certainly has given birth to us spiritually.
4. She loves you more than you can ever imagine –If she did not, would she have endured the horror of seeing her Son tortured? He was scourged, crowned with thorns, carried the Cross to Calvary, and died a gruesome death on it. Yet, she didn’t utter a word. She did it for you, for all of us, because she understood that Jesus’ Passion and Crucifixion was the only way to your (our) salvation. She loves you like no human mother ever could.
5. Mary is Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, Mediatrix, infact, the list is endless . Her role, so to speak, began at the moment she conceived Jesus in her womb and continues until this day. What is more, it will continue for all eternity. As the first and most perfect disciple, she is devoted to accompanying him and continuing her saving role by interceding for us so that we may receive the gifts of eternal salvation.
Pope St. Paul VI in his encyclical ‘Mense Maio’ of 29 April 1965; No. 2, captures this august-devotion very well which focused on the Virgin Mary, to whom traditionally the month of May is dedicated as the Mother of God – Dei Mater Alma: “Since Mary is rightly to be regarded as the way by which we are led to Christ, the person who encounters Mary cannot help but encounter Christ likewise. For what other reason do we continually turn to Mary except to seek the Christ in her arms? to seek our Savior in her, through her, and with her? To Him men are to turn amid the anxieties and perils of this world. Urged on by duty and driven by the compelling needs of their heart, to find a haven of salvation, a transcendent fountain of life”
Mary is at work 24/7, for whatever we need, whenever we need it. For these reasons and more, Mary deserves honour, not only in this month, but always. Therefore this is another perfect opportunity, and would conclude with Pope St. Paul VI words in the same encyclical ‘Mense Maio’ No. 14, “…do not fail to put repeated emphasis on the recitation of the Rosary, the prayer so pleasing to Our Lady and,… It affords the faithful an excellent means of complying effectively and pleasingly with our divine Master's command: “Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:7, Bible: DRV).
Confer: Bible: DRV –Douay-Rheims Version
Augustine C. Oparah