Lifelong CatechesisForming Catholic identity across generations
Forty days before the Triduum, the Lenten season disposes Catechumens and the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery through prayer and penitential practices.
Mary, Mother of Jesus, First Century
As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation this week on March 25, it is appropriate that we choose Mary, the greatest and first among all of our saints, as our Saint of the Week.
In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, we learned that the angel Gabriel came to Mary and announced that she was to be the mother of Jesus. Greeting her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.” [Lk 1:28] Troubled by this greeting, Mary did not know what to make of it. Gabriel assured her of God’s love for her and told her, “…you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.” [Lk 1:31] The angel informed her how the Holy Spirit would come to her and, to help her to understand the power of God, told her that her cousin, Elizabeth, had conceived a child in her old age. Mary’s response to Gabriel’s words were, “…I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” [Lk 1:38]
Mary did not immediately think of herself, but set out to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, to be with her at the birth of John the Baptist. We will celebrate this unselfish act on May 31, the Visitation.
Mary's message today: Our greatest saint, Mary did one simple thing. She listened to God’s will—that she was to be the mother of Jesus—and she accepted God’s will.