By Fr Roderick Salazar Jr, SVD
O Most loving Virgin Mary, the first time we meet you, we hear you say: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word.”
This is your response to the Archangel Gabriel who hails you as full of grace, saying that the Lord is with you, that you have found favor with God, and that you are to conceive and bear a son whom you are to name Jesus, for He is to called Son of the Most High. You do not immediately or fully understand what you are being told. On the human level, you ask how you can bear a son when, although engaged to be married, you do not yet have a husband. You wonder how you, a human being, can mother — the Son of God!. You are told that the Holy Spirit would come upon you and the power of the Most High would cover you with His shadow so that your child would be holy and would be called Son of God”. It is then that you say, in all trust and humility, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word”.
With your response, you conceive the Son of God in your womb, and nine months later give birth to not just an ordinary baby but to God who chose to become human like us. And since, from the beginning, the Word was with God and the Word was God, when He entered time through your giving Him birth as the baby Jesus, you became not only the Mother of Jesus, but the Mother of God, and the Mother of the Divine Word.
We come to you under this most affectionate name, Mother of the Divine Word.
“Like Mother and Father, like daughter and son,” we say among ourselves. We ask you to please teach us, your daughters and sons, to be like you – in relation to God our Father; the Divine Word, Jesus, your Son; and the Holy Spirit, whose most chaste spouse you are. From you, may we learn to let be in our lives anything and everything that is according to God’s Word. Like you, may we conceive the Word — in our thoughts and in our minds — and give birth to Him in our lives.
When we do not understand what is happening to us, teach us to ponder things in our hearts and trust that in God’s good time, we will know. Help our souls to magnify the Lord, and our spirits to rejoice in God our Savior. Let our hearts be sensitive and our eyes alert to what our brothers and sisters need, so we can call to God when we see them with no water, food, or wine, and stir ourselves to do whatever God tells us to do.
Give us the courage and strength to stand with you at the foot of the cross, to sit and kneel with you in prayer till the Spirit comes and stirs our dying embers into living Pentecost fire.
Thus may we be like you, now and forever, Mother of the Word Divine. Amen.