For He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid: for behold henceforth all generation shall call me blessed because the almighty has done great things for me holy is His name (Lk 1: 48-50).
From that very moment, Mary has assumed an exalted position that is greater than that of the angels and saints.
- Oba of Benin, Obaseki differ on repatriation of looted artifacts
Nigeria makes history, shock US in pre-Olympic basketball friendly
Her glory cut across every corner of the earth because no one has the power to demote anyone God has already promoted. From the beginning of creation, God had prepared Mary for a greater task. Despite the fact that God is almighty and He is the creator of heaven and earth, He still sent His angel (Gabriel) to tell her that He is going to make use of her to achieve the plans He had for our salvation. Mary did not hesitate even when she had not fully understood the message. She said “I am the handmaid of the Lord let what you have said be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). From the above statement, Mary accepted God’s purpose for her life.
Her humility and trust helped her to win God’s favour and attention. Initially, Mary had her own personal plan, which was to get married like the other ladies of her time and begin to bear children. But when the plan of God came, she had to forgo her personal plans and cooperate with God to bring salvation to mankind. When our first parents (Adam and eve) disobeyed God in Genesis chapter 3, through the serpent by eating the forbidden fruit, God did not want to condemn mankind to destruction so he looked for another opportunity to redeem him from death. Since the first woman (Eve) was not contented by what was given to her (the Garden of Eden), but allowed herself to be carried away by mere deceit. God decided to look for another woman (second Eve) whose character and attitude was quite different from the first (Eve). Mary’s dedication to God’s word empowered (grace) her to crush the head of the serpent.
Furthermore, Mary is so tender and compassionate in nature, she is indeed a good mother. The duties of every mother in the house are uncountable. She takes care of the children, husband and the home put together, many a time she gets little or no love as she desire. As a mother, Mary takes care of all her children both far and near. As we all know, we are the children of Mary because she is the mother of all creation. Her virtues of motherhood was seen in the way she took care of her son (Jesus), she did not abandon him to take care of himself even though she knew he was the son of God, as a mother she gave him all the care and attention that he deserved. In the gospel of Lk 2: 41-46 when Jesus was missing, Mary searched every nook and cranny of Jerusalem. At first she thought he had gone home with their relations but when she later discovered that he was not with them, her spirit became shattered, she showed the attitude of a good mother by looking everywhere for him.
Another attitude of a good Mother that Mary portrayed could be seen in the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee where Jesus and his mother were invited and the wine got finished, the couple did not know that the wine had finished, it was only our mother Mary who noticed that there is no wine and quickly she took it upon herself to look for solution to the problem. She covered their shame. “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). It is only a good mother that can behave like that. After Jesus had turn water into wine, there was enough wine to drink and the wedding went well. The couple’s shame was covered because our mother Mary intervened. Her visit to Elizabeth her cousin in the gospel of Lk 1:39- 45 was another act of kindness, since she knew that Elizabeth had grown old in age, and is with a child, she ran quickly to give her a helping hand. No one but only a good mother could think of giving a helping hand to another person, as the saying goes; “the heart of man is wicked; it is only the knowledge of God that softens the heart of man”. God’s knowledge helped her to develop a broader heart that could accommodate everybody. Her love for humanity as a mother made her to appear to the three children of Fatima (Francesco, Lucia and Jacinta) in the year 1917. To give an important message about the dangers happening in the world and the remedies to advert them, no one but only a good mother can do such things.
The role of Mary in the history of our salvation was so great and wonderful. It was through her that salvation (Christ) came into the world. She was the first to be redeemed and also belief in God’s word. She cooperated with the Holy Spirit to bring God’s plan to fulfilment. We could see that from the moment of the annunciation to the crucifixion, she was seen obeying God’s holy will. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Blessed Virgin Mary loosened through faith. Her strong faith in God helped her to carry out God’s will without doubt. Her strong faith in God helps us to belief in the person of Jesus Christ as saviour of the world. In the salvation history, she was the first Christian and also a faithful disciple who did not flee during the period of sufferings, troubles and persecutions. She waited to the very end at the foot of the cross. The weeping Mary watching her son’s crucifixion at the foot of the cross, represent all Christians who are passing through pains, suffering and anxiety and are still under the weight of the cross. Mary’s gift to the church was her son Jesus Christ, who came into the world to redeem us from our sins. Mary served as a bridge between the old and the New Testament, the Old Testament reveals God’s plans for humanity. “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Is 7:14 : ), and the New Testament is the implementation of that plan. “A virgin gave birth to a son and his name is called Jesus” (Lk 2:21). Mary became the link between the Old and New Testament and a channel for God to fulfil his promises to humanity. What a great role she played!
Her extra-ordinary humility, kindness, faith, virtues and love of God had won her so many titles. She is known as the help of Christians, by this title we could see that Mary passed through lots of problems during her life time and she was able to conquer and by that singular act, she is capable of helping all God’s children (Christians). She serves as an intercessor between us and God, many a time, our prayers may not reach God because of our sinful act, she is ever ready to help take our prayers and place them in her immaculate heart and present it to her son. I tell you such prayers can never be rejected. She is always ready to help. She is also known as the mediatrix of all graces. In Luke chapter 1, the angel saluted her by saying “Hail full of grace”, from this title we would see that Mary has the power to distribute graces to those she desire and all who ask her for it because she has it in abundance. She is known as our lady of the rosary, when she appeared to Saint Dominic in the year 1208, she gave him the rosary and she said I am “The Lady of the Rosary”. The rosary is one of the powerful prayers in the Catholic Church because of its efficacy. It is a powerful weapon used by Catholics to invoke the intercession of our blessed mother Mary; lots of testimonies have been recorded through the use of the rosary. It is a gift from a mother to her children.
The story of our salvation is incomplete without mentioning this great woman (Mary), she is the “Mother of all Mothers”. She allowed herself to be used by God, today she is a vessel of honour. Let us always continue to honour her from time-to time for the many sacrifices she had made; making God’s plans to come through and also making our salvation to be possible.
Sr Margret Ogbebor SSMA is a Catholic Nun, working in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. She is the Head Teacher of St Martin de Porres Nursery and Primary School Katsina. firstname.lastname@example.org