Thought for the Day – 18 December – The Memorial of Our Lady of Expectation
The Gospel message on this feast relates the story of the Annunciation. God asks a woman, His creature for a favour to be Mother of His Son and at the same time, He respects her freedom. She is free to say “yes” or “no.” There is a moment of waiting in heaven and on earth – God waits for her answer, the heavenly messenger waits for her answer, the first parents Adam and Eve wait for her answer, all confined in hell wait for her answer. With grateful heart, we thank Mary, the Wise and Prudent Virgin, for saying “yes” to God on our behalf. Her simple words: “Let what you have said be done to me” (Lk 1:38) brought down to us the Saviour and has changed the world forever . She obeyed the Angel, not the Devil and thus she pleased God – “Blessed are you because of your belief that the promise made to you by the Lord would be fulfilled” (Lk 1:45).
At the offertory, the Church blesses “Our Lady of Expectation” with the Angel’s greeting “Rejoice, so highly favoured. The Lord is with you” (Lk 1:29); “Of all women you are the most blessed and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Lk 1:42). Mary is doubly blessed – in her virginity and motherhood and thus stands as an ideal and inspiration for every woman single or married. Her virginal womb is blessed with the Divine Life. She is the Mother of every child ever conceived under the mother’s heart. What an example she offers to all expectant mothers to welcome, to nurture life and to bring it to the full maturity of Christ’s humanity. At the same time, we must pray for the end of abortion, the greatest evil in our days and to promote the civilisation of love and family life.
The Holy Virgin Mary, “Our Lady of Expectation”, is a great educator of the Christian family. Christmas is a family celebration. We all want to be home for Christmas. She teaches us how to love and enjoy our own humanity and the humanity of her Son, we celebrate on Christmas Day.