Study: Recall a time in your life when another person made a profound difference in your life. How did they show you support?
Pray: Ask the Lord for the wisdom and insight to be a human agent for divine love. Pray for an open heart to be guided by Christ!
Serve: Who in your life would benefit from your service and kindness right now? Is it family, a friend, a co-worker, or an acquaintance?
There are many ways to say, “I love you.” Some people do it easily with words, others use gestures, physical closeness, empathy, or service. Sometimes it happens when we respond to the unspoken questions or needs of another – anticipating the situation without even having to be asked. Other times it is merely our presence, when we sit or walk with another beyond the necessity of words; at times like these it is simply the awareness that we are not alone that gives us strength.
Within the Holy Family we can talk about the practical ways that Mary and Joseph cared for and loved Jesus. Providing for the Lord’s basic needs, showing affection, teaching, offering safety, and guiding with earthly wisdom are just a few of the examples that reveal how they provided a home for their son.
On this feast we can enter more fully into the gift of Mary’s life – as a mother. The intimacy and connection between mother and child is profound. There is a closeness – something physical, relational, and spiritual – that often uniquely touches our lives. While it’s true that there are times when we are closer/farther from our moms, we can recognize that this bond has the power to connect with something deep within our souls.
Mary shared this connection with her Son. Jesus, whose titles range from “Savior,” “Messiah,” “Lord of Life,” “Prince of Peace,” and “Son of God” could also claim another:
Son of Mary
The Feast of Mary, the Mother of God is a celebration where we can comprehend a bond that we share with the Lord. Like us, he possessed this earthly connection with his mom – a connection that underscores how Christ comes to us and bridges the gap between Heaven and Earth so that we might know God. The Lord became like us (in all things but sin) so that we could draw near to the Almighty – there is no obstacle, no boundary, no barrier that prevents us from encountering God.
Within the context of this mother/son relationship Mary had countless opportunities to say, “I love you” to her boy. She said it with words, conveyed it with caring and comforting actions, and demonstrated it with subtle expressions of affection. Since Jesus became like us, then he also received the blessings and joys that come from being loved in this very human, very powerful way.
As we enter into this New Year, how will we say, “I love you” to the Lord? How will we reveal our love for Christ in the faces of our brothers and sisters? Perhaps it’s with a word of encouragement, a random act of kindness, anticipating a need, or responding to a situation. May we eagerly look about for ways to show our love – to the people in our lives and the Lord who put them there.