To be Mary’s child
By Allan Moss OMI
Advent brings to mind the pregnancy of Mary. We prepare for the coming of her child. We know the child is born on Christmas day and we celebrate the moment. Christ is Mary’s child and he wants us all to be her children. Being Mary’s child means living like Christ.
Mary was a young, insignificant female in her time, yet God considered her most important in his plan of salvation. I was reminded of this truth when I visited a Mater Dei home that assists young unmarried pregnant girls. Some were saved from aborting their babies.
How appropriate it is for these homes, in KwaZulu-Natal and in Cape Town, to operate under the titles of our Mother. She knows what it is like for a young girl, uncertain of her future, to be pregnant. She knows the mystery of life, human and divine. If Jeshu’ah had been aborted there would have been no salvation.
Jeshu’ah (Jesus) means salvation. Mary, the mother of Jesus, the new Eve, is mother of every child and she is ever grateful for helping her save her children. This is an important work in the Church, and we are the Church.
The late English Cardinal Basil Hume of Westminister in his book The Northern Saints said that as bishop his main responsibility was the care of the people. The Mater Dei homes are such a commitment of local bishop and Church where young people are faced with decisions about the life and death of their babies.
I see Mary’s interest in pregnant women and unborn babies. Her presence means a lot. She visits pregnant Elizabeth, and Elizabeth senses new life in the Spirit with the child in her womb, proclaiming what is happening in her. She extols the blessedness of Mary and the fruit of her womb. In Mary is Christ and she is with her Son wherever she goes, two thousand years ago and today. She brings us to the Lord and brings the Lord to us, as should every Christian.
I share an experience of my little friend Angelina who was surprised that her neighbour did not know much about Mary. Children breathe the air, the atmosphere that the family creates. Angelina’s neighbour comes from a Pentecostal background and Angelina showed her the picture of the Blessed Virgin on the wall.
“That’s not in our house,” said her friend. “Well, she is here,” replied Angelina. “And part of the family,” added her mother. She certainly got to know a new member in Angelina’s family and I think she likes her. After all Mary’s story is about the Holy Spirit and Pentecostals look to the Holy Spirit. In fact our lives should also be stories about the Holy Spirit; and Mary is our model.