Monday, December 16, 2013

23. MARY - THE MOTHER OF GOD

A beautiful true story for all, dedicated especially for all Protestants, 
our brothers and sisters. I hope you will like it. 
A Protestant boy and The"Hail Mary". (A story)
Luke 1:28 And the angel being come in, said unto her:
Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women.
Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the
salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Luke 1:42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said:
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
And remember: 
"No Mary No Jesus - Know Mary Know Jesus"

Interesting links for Protestants:
THE EXORCISM OF NICOLA AUBREY:
http://olrl.org/stories/exorcism.shtml
What is a Mother?
A mother is someone to shelter and guide us,
To love us, whatever we do,
With a warm understanding and infinite patience,
And wonderful gentleness, too.
How often a mother means swift reassurance
In soothing our small, childish fears,
How tenderly mothers watch over their children
And treasure them all through the years.
The hearth of a mother is full of forgiveness
For any mistake, big or small,
And generous always in helping her family
Whose needs she has placed above all.
A mother can utter a word of compassion
And make all our cares fall away,
She can brighten a home with the sound of her laughter
And make life delightful and gay.
A mother possesses incredible wisdom
And wonderful insight and skill-
In each human heart is that one special corner
Which only a mother can fill!
Author of Poem: Katherine Nelson Davis


The son to be born is Jesus (called Emmanuel - God with us).
 Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel

Matthew 1:23 Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

What is a Mother?

by Anonymous

A mother is someone who loves you
Who cares for you in every way
She sits down and listens
to what you have to say
She always thinks you're beautiful
Never puts you down
She always has a smile
To wipe away your frown
A mother is someone who believes in you
Always pushes you to go far
Tells you to believe in yourself
No matter who you are
A mother is like an angel
Although without the wings
She tells you to enjoy
Life's most smallest things
I really love my mother
She means so much to me
Mommy I really love you
And that's how it always will be.


And She will be there for you no matter how painful!


The song that best describe our Blessed Mother
Ave Maria
The REAL mother the one who loves her son Jesus so much that she practically lays down her life to devote herself to him, her only son, does not and never aspires to take away the limelight from that son. She knows her role is to see that he gets fresh, clean clothes to wear everyday, is led properly, be ever willing to lend an ear or a shoulder anytime he needs her. She is laundry woman, cook, assistant, sounding board, tailor, comforter housekeeper. 

How many mothers gave we known to have been heroines of some epic or extraordinary event? Few, very few. Yet you and I  know many mothers who are indeed heroic, truly heroic, who have never figured in anything spectacular, who will never hit the headlines, as they say. They lead lives of constant self-denial, happy to curtail their own likes and preferences, their time, their opportunity for self-expression or success so that they can carpet their children's lives with happiness. 

This was is - The Blessed Virgin Mother - the woman whose only aim in life is to be a good Mother. And by definition of the PERFECT mother, we can say that Mary indeed did her job perfectly and the PROOF is in the fact that her deeds were unnoticed or deemed unremarkably (compared to the miracles her Son was doing) by the authors of the four gospels. She must have gone about her work quietly, humbly - no fanfare or publicity about it.

This is evidenced, too, in Mary's avowal of herself as the "The Handmade of the Lord" the only 'title' she gave herself. She never called herself the "Mother of God" [A humility worthy of emulation] although she merited this name from God the Father Himself who chose her among the millions of women in the world (throughout the ages) to bear His Son, and from her supreme humility and willingness to serve Him as Handmaid. As our Mother, therefore, she is the perfect link to the Son, who is the perfect link to the Father. And because all graces come from the Son, she becomes a Channel for these graces - She is the "Mediatrix of Graces". 

These titles are actually mysteries about the special relationship between Mary and the Holy Trinity and most especially about her Motherhood of the Son. A special relationship that explains why we must refer her. We cannot, of course, adore or worship Her. Adoration and worship are fitting to God and to God only. However, special beings like angels and special creatures like saints are also regarded with respect. Mary is neither God nor a mere angel or saint. She is God's most perfect creation, the most special among God's special creatures and this should be treated with more respect than the angels and the saints.

Mary is a most special creature who has a most important role in God's plan. This is a role given to Mary by God Himself as proven through Scripture and thus should not be taken light-heartedly by men.

When Jesus "bequeathed" Mary to us - John 19:25-27 [25]Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother' s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. [26] When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. [27] After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own. - an important request considering that He uttered it with one of His dying breaths - He said "Woman behold thy Son." John represented all of mankind at this time Jews and Gentiles, black and white, Asian and American. Mary has fulfilled Christ's request totally and with such great love for all of us. She continues to intercede for us, to pray for us, to watch over us like a loving, doting Mother. But this request has twofold. It did not only ask Mary to be our Mother, but for us to be her sons and daughters..."Son behold your Mother."  Do we fulfill Christ's request to treat the Blessed Virgin as our Mother? Or do we scorn her, spurn her Motherly love and help, refuse to honor her as the Holy Trinity honors Her? We say we love Christ, but do we obey Him when He asks us to love His Mother? 

At the Wedding in Cana, Christ through His Mother taught us the meaning of true obedience John 2:55 His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. When Mary brought to Christ's attention the fact that the hosts were running out of wine, she asked her Son to provide them with more. Although, He knew it was not yet time to reveal Himself, Christ obeyed His Mother, if Christ could accord such respect to "a mere woman". shouldn't we, as His brothers and therefore, Her sons and daughters, also show her the same respect and obedience?

On the other hand, Mary also showed her obedience and trust of her Son's will when she said to the servants, "Do whatever He tells you". She did not really know what He was going to do, but her attitude, as she taught the servants, was merely obedience - no matter He asked of Her or them.

Through the mysteries, the truths and virtues of Mary which we will study in next topics, we can learn how she truly fulfilled God's plan for Her. Her total fulfillment of His Plan made her so pleasing to Him that she has earned an exalted place in heaven below the Blessed Trinity, but certainly higher than the angels and Saints.
Christians Share in Mary's Motherhood of God
"Who is my Mother?... Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants him to do is my ... Mother."  
Matthew 12:48-50 [48] But he answering him that told him, said: Who is my mother, and who are my brethren? [49] And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: Behold my mother and my brethren. [50] For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.
[48] Who is my mother?: This was not spoken by way of slighting his mother, but to shew that we are never to suffer ourselves to be taken from the service of God, by any inordinate affection to our earthly parents: and that which our Lord chiefly regarded in his mother, was her doing the will of his Father in heaven. It may also further allude to the reprobation of the Jews, his carnal kindred, and the election of the Gentiles.'
Mark 3:31-35 [31] And his mother and his brethren came; and standing without, sent unto him, calling him. [32] And the multitude sat about him; and they say to him: Behold thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. [33] And answering them, he said: Who is my mother and my brethren? [34] And looking round about on them who sat about him, he saith: Behold my mother and my brethren. [35]For whosoever shall do the will of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
  1. We conceive Christ in Baptism.
  2. We are pregnant with Christ if we allow Him to grow within us learning more and more about Him daily and trying to do our best for Him Daily.
  3. We give birth to Christ through our actions and words, being an example to others of what it's like to have Christ within us.
  4. We should aspire for continues growth in Christ, let Him lead us through our daily lives and the lives of others so we can allow the will of the Father always.
  5. All of this should be done out of love. Our love for Christ and His Mother, for the Blessed Trinity.
And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38
This is the only title that Mary gave Herself. All others (example: Queen of Peace, Immaculate Conception, Mother of God. etc..) are honors given by the people of God based on what were witnessed as God's design of her life. By saying 'handmaid of the Lord' she gave up her most precious gift of freedom. Freedom is the only thing that is our very own - which even God cannot take away from us. Mary's surrender of this gift of freedom, therefore, shows her TOTAL ABANDONMENT TO GOD  and HIS PLAN.


THE HANDMAID THAT PAVED 
THE DIVISION OF THE WORLD

Hagar The Egyptian Handmaid to Sarah:




Hagar was the Egyptian handmaid to Sarah. This is the story of a slave girl that shows courage. Hagar is considered the mother of the Ishmaelite’s (Muslims). Hagar was sent out into the desert of Shur with her son by Sarah after the birth of Isaac. Hagar and Ishmael were exhausted, faint and thirsty and afraid they would both die and she called upon the LORD. Her courage can be a comfort to all women as they journey through the deserts in their lives.

Hagar is an example of women who are excluded or even despised by the people around them. Hagar was an Egyptian girl who was the slave to Sarah, who was the wife of Abraham. Sarah was childless in a society that placed great value to motherhood. Because Sarah was childless and of great age she gave Hagar to Abraham so she could give birth to fulfill the promise of the LORD God.

It is a possibility that Hagar was given to the household of Sarah by the Pharaoh of Egypt. Abraham, the husband of Sarah, took his family down into Egypt because of a great famine in the land. Sarah was beautiful and the Egyptians princes took her to the house of Pharaoh. (Genesis 12:10-20).

It is important to note that Hagar was a household slave and not a concubine in the beginning. If she came as a gift from Pharaoh to appease the LORD God then she would have been a valuable servant. Hagar belonged to Sarah not to Abraham. This is known because Genesis 16:3 tells us that Sarah gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife

Hagar would bear the child for Sarah and look after it, but it would belong to Sarah and be accepted as the child of Sarah and Abraham. Not the child of Hagar and Abraham. This was a common and acceptable practice in the ancient Near Eastern society.

Hagar conceived son for Abraham. Hagar must have felt superior and honored in the prospect of becoming pregnant by the leader of such a large family. This would have changed her social status dramatically. She would have been the secondary wife to Abraham.

Hagar conceived Ishmael. Sarah had to face daily that she could not give her husband a son and yet her slave girl could. Sarah believed that Hagar did not give her the respect she should have. This must have been very difficult for Abraham; especially since Sarah pointed out that it was his fault and it was a mistake having given Hagar to him.

Hagar felt contempt for Sarah probably because she had done something that Sarah could not do in her old age. Abraham was the tribal leader. Sarah was the ruler of the other tribal women and responsible for them. It was Sarah’s right to treat Hagar severely with her disrespect. Finally Hagar ran away.

This shows the courage and determination of Hagar to head toward Egypt through the desert of Shur which is today known as the Negev.

Hagar had fled by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. There an angel of the LORD found her. The angel of the LORD asks her where she was going. And Hagar said fleeing from her mistress Sarah.

The angel of the LORD told Hagar to return to thy mistress, and submit herself under Sarah’s hands. The angel of the LORD also said to Hagar that He will multiply her seed exceedingly. Her child would be a son and she should call his name Ismael; because the LORD has heard your affliction. Ismael would be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. (Genesis 16: 7-12).

Hagar returned to Sarah because now she had a purpose. An angel of the LORD had spoken to her about her destine to rear a child who would have descendants without numbers.

There were still problems between Hagar and Sarah. Once Sarah gave birth to Isaac the balance of power once again resurfaced and Sarah gained top position of the hierarchy. Sarah saw a threat that Isaac would not gain the heir of the first born.

Abraham made a great feast for Isaac the day he was weaned. Sarah demanded that Hagar and Ishmael should be sent away from the tribe so Ishmael would not be the heir with Isaac. Abraham was apprehensive about sending Hagar and Ishmael being sent out to the desert. Genesis 21:8-14.

Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

Hagar and Ishmael were alone in the desert and when the supply of water was gone Hagar saw her son begin to die of thirst. There was nothing she could do to save him except place him in the shade of an overhanging bush and wait. Then she went and sat a good way off for she said 'Do not let me look on the death of the child'. Then she lifted up her voice and called to the LORD for help. Genesis 21:15-16

The LORD God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to Hagar, The LORD had heard her voice and she was to lift up Ismael and hold him in her hand and the LORD would make him a great nation. Hagar saw a well of water and filled the bottle with water and gave it to Ishmael to drink. Genesis 21:17-19.

Ishmael grew and dwelt in the wilderness and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran; and Hagar took him a wife out of the land of Egypt. Genesis 21:20-21.

Hagar was the mother of the first child born to Abraham. Yet, she never was regarded as such. She was never accepted. She was rejected completely and then banished. Hagar was protected by the LORD against the hatred of Sarah, and the desert, and the threat of death by thirst. Finally Hagar lived as a free woman and her son did grow into a great nation.

Abraham, Hagar and Ismael, according to the Koran, were the ancestors of the Arab nations (Muslims), and later of the prophet Mohammed. The Koran says that it was at Mecca that God saved Hagar and her son from death by thirst. Muslim ritual reflects the story of Hagar, and every year for thirteen centuries Muslims performing the Hajj have retraced Hagar's steps as she desperately searched for water.


Jewish Attitude Towards Servant and Woman
  • SERVANT (HANDMAID) - slave, worse than animals, no rights or properties, absolute possession of the Master.
  • WOMAN - no rights, mere property of man not counted in census. 
Therefore, a 'handmaid' who is literally a 'woman servant' is the lowliest of the low, absolutely empty, completely no worth at all, at the complete disposal of her master. 

The handmaid attitude is the basic condition for the Plan of God to be unfolded. It is the first condition of true Christian living, a true self-surrender, a supreme humility and obedience. When we can do this then God can work easily through us. But when we empty ourselves as Mary did), then we can truly be filled with God's grace and inspiration to work from Him, to do His Plan. God can only be within us if we throw away everything else that is hindrance to Him, our selfishness, worldliness, lust, pride, etc. A handmaid does not pre-empt her master by making her own plans or making her master to grant her every wish and whim, instead, she waits for His orders and fulfills them. If she has a request or a wish, then she can only pray that He grants it if He sees fit and if it is according to His will.

Analogy: A cup filled with Coke cannot be filled with 7-up. The Coke has to be thrown away first for the drinker to truly taste the flavor of 7-up and appreciate it.

The handmaid attitude also helps us bear the crosses of suffering and persecution. A handmaid accepts suffering and persecution because she realizes that she is totally dependent on God (the lives and ways of the Anawims). If He chooses to send her pain, then she must accept it and be thankful that He send her this gifts to strengthen and purify her, to train her to acquire a wisdom and understanding in the redemptive value of suffering. "If all humanity will realize the value of suffering, they will not look for pleasure but for pain" (Padre Pio). We do not and cannot understand the pain of individual events sometimes, however, even if we only see the bits and pieces that lock terrible, we must TRUST God that the total picture is surely a masterpiece, beautifully made in His time.
"My life is totally dependent on God's Mercy"
"I surrender my will to you Lord and
let your will be done in me now and forever"

- Silent Crusader