Feast Day: January 01
Remember on Christmas morning how we found our way to the stable? It may have been the stable on the mantle shelf or under the Christmas tree or in our parish church. We gazed at the baby in the manger just like the shepherds had done so long ago. Jesus was there with Mary and Joseph.
Today we begin our new year at the Eucharistic Celebration of the Holy Mass. We thank God for Mary, Jesus' mother, who brought the Savior into the world. Because she is the mother of Jesus, God's Son, she truly is the Mother of God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, baby Jesus was born of Mary. Joseph was Jesus' loving foster-father.
God chose Mary to be the mother of his Son. She was a teenager and her parents were Joachim and Anne. Mary loved God and her Jewish religion. Her neighbors thought she was an ordinary young girl just like other girls.
It was God's work in her that made her so special, so blessed. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to Mary's town of Nazareth. The angel asked told her about Godís wonderful plan - wonderful for her and for all of us. Mary wanted to please God and although she was confused she accepted the plan.
She became Jesus' mother. Mary and her husband, Joseph, tried to raise Jesus the best way they could and with great love. Jesus spent many happy, quiet years with Mary and Joseph in Nazareth.
When Jesus was about thirty years old, he began his preaching and healing ministry. This is called his public life, which started a few years before Joseph died. Jesus could not now stay just in the little home and carpenter shop at Nazareth.
Mary often went with her friends to be near her Son. Mary attended a marriage celebration in Cana. Jesus and his disciples came too. When the wine was over, Mary asked Jesus to do something to help.
She wanted him to save the couple from being embarrassed in front of their guests. He worked the miracle and turned plain water into delicious wine. Mary loved Jesus and believed in him.
She was there when he was nailed to the cross and stayed right beneath the cross until she received his dead body into her arms.
After the resurrection, Mary waited with Jesus' apostles for the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The apostles loved her. They knew they needed more courage to be real followers of Jesus.
Mary prayed for them and encouraged them. She taught them how to be disciples of her Son. Mary's feast days are special events that happen throughout the year. Today's feast honors her as God's Mother. She wants to be our mother, too and we can ask for her help to make us strong in faith so we can be saved.
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