A Walk with Mary as we prepare for Christmas
Each reflection contemplates a specific event in Mary’s life, and is accompanied by a graphic and verses to help us in our personal reflection.
Mother Mary is our model of gentleness, humility and meekness. She teaches us to be silent, to pray and to contemplate. She is our Lord’s Mother, and she is our Mother.
May these reflections help us to walk with our gentle Mother, to entrust ourselves to her motherly care, and to inspire us to imitate the virtues of Mary, which are also the virtues of Christ.
And as we learn from Mary, we realise that she brings us closer to herself, and to her Son Jesus.
Part 1: The Annunciation: The Angel Gabriel Appears
The angel Gabriel was sent to Mary, to tell her that she will bear a Son whom she will name Jesus. Mary was confused, because she did not know how it could be possible, since she was a virgin. She was afraid, because she would be judged and condemned by the Law and people around her.
Yet, Mary believed the angel’s assurance, and trusted that the Lord would see her through the journey, so she replied, “I’m the Lord’s servant, let it be to me according to your word.”
We may not always fully understand why or how things will work out, and we may sometimes worry about the difficulties that we may face in our journey ahead.
Mary shows us that if we trust the Lord, He will see us through the journey. He will dispel our hesitations and fears, and He will give us the courage to say with Mary, “I’m the Lord’s servant, let it be to me according to your word.”
Verses to ponder:
[The angel] came to [Mary] and said, “Hail (Mary), full of grace, the Lord is with you!”
(Luke 1:28, RSVCE)
“I am the Lord's servant,” said Mary; “may it happen to me as you have said.”
(Luke 1:38, GNT)
Above is part of the 1517 painting, "Visitation" by Raphael (Find out more: Wikipedia)
Part 2: The Visitation: Mary visits Elizabeth
After hearing from the Angel Gabriel that her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant even in her old age, Mary made an arduous journey through the hills and valleys to visit her cousin.
Elizabeth was already six months pregnant and Mary stayed for three more months, which meant Mary supported Elizabeth during the remainder of her pregnancy.
Mary teaches us that even though we may have our own worries, or we may be busy with our own activities, we can still pay attention to the needs of people around us.
Just as Mary helped Elizabeth in small ways, we can brighten the lives of others by running little errands, by offering a simple smile and greeting, or by just by spending time with them.
Verses to ponder:
“Mary got ready and hurried off to a town in the hill country of Judea. She went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth.”
(Luke 1:39-40, GNT)
“Mary stayed about three months with Elizabeth and then went back home.”
(Luke 1:56, GNT)
Part 3: The Magnificat: Mary praises the Lord
Mary’s well-known song of praise, the Magnificat, is found in Luke 1:46 - 55. These words, “my soul magnifies the Lord,...” were spoken when Mary first met her cousin Elizabeth. [Find out more: Magnificat, Our Catholic Prayers]
In the Magnificat, Mary proclaimed the greatness of the Lord and said the Almighty had done great things for her. She did not exalt herself but recognised that God was working through his humble servant.
Mary teaches that we should never become proud or exalt ourselves. Rather we must recognise that it is the Lord who has given us good things.
She also teaches that if we are encountering difficulties in life, we can trust in the Lord to lift us up, reminding us to always stay humble and be grateful to God for His kindness towards us.
Verses to ponder:
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior… ”
(Luke 1:46-47, RSVCE)
“He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name.”
(Luke 1:49, RSVCE)
Stay tuned for Part 4: Mary journeys with Joseph to Bethlehem, by 29 November!
Reflections by Gabriel Liu
OLPS Communications Ministry
Disclaimer: The views and recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the priests of the parish or the Catholic Church of Singapore.