Presentation of our Lord

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord.

Luke 2:22

Today I am reminded that Jesus Christ was a living, breathing person. Starting as a baby, later blossoming into our guide, prophet, model, and savior.

Perhaps that gives me hope for my own life, right? Because there sure are days when I feel hope is a far stretch.

The Holy Family

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Catholics tend to focus so much on Jesus and Mary that we forget the holiness of the family unit. But in fact, the family is the foundation of the Church and society at large.

It breaks my heart to see the diminishing of families through divorce and avoiding children. It feels like we’re destroying the purpose of being human.

So today we celebrate the Holy Family, and indeed, all families.

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Our Lady of Loreto

I never knew that much about Our Lady of Loreto, so it was fascinating to learn about this new celebration just recently announced by Pope Francis. Squeezed in between the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8) and Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec 12), I’m getting the feeling that this first half of Advent is trying to remind us of the amazing role of Mary in our redemption.

It’s a pretty amazing story.

In the early church, people revered the house in which Mary was raised. It’s believed to be where she gave her fiat to Jesus’ conception, then lived with Joseph.

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Mary’s Assumption

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Today we remember and celebrate the Assumption of our Blessed Mother. Such a powerful and hope-filled doctrine of our faith!

This is when Mary, body and soul, was conveyed into heaven at the conclusion of her earthly journey. Yet it’s never mentioned directly in the Bible.

19 God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

1 A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
5 She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed One.”

Rev 11:19a; 12:1, 5, 10ab
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Mother of God

Photo from pxhere

Today is a new year, and the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. What a perfect way to start afresh!

This very phrase is something to ponder deeply. We don’t believe that Mary existed before God the Father and somehow gave birth to Him. That might be similar to Rhea being the mother of Zeus.

No, we believe that Jesus is God and is with God the Father. Which means that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is mother of God as incarnated in our world.

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Virgin Mary

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Our mother Mary was, herself, born without sin. That’s why this feast day is about Mary’s conception, not that of Jesus.

One explanation that I’ve heard of this is that the Ark of the Covenant must be unblemished. And since Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, Jesus, it is appropriate that she also be unblemished.

So it’s about faith, not scientific proof. And I’m quite fine with that.

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