Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

December 30, 2013

Feast of Mary, Mother of God 2014

Reflect on the word of Pope Francis in his apostolic exhortation Evangelli Gaudium. Share and pray Pope Francis' words asking for the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God.

Mary was able to turn a stable into a home for Jesus, with poor swaddling clothes and an abundance of love. She is the handmaid of the Father who sings his praises. She is the friend who is ever concerned that wine not be lacking in our lives. She is the woman whose heart was pierced by a sword and who understands all our pain. As mother of all, she is a sign of hope for peoples suffering the birth pangs of justice. She is the missionary who draws near to us and accompanies us throughout life, opening our hearts to faith by her maternal love. As a true mother, she walks at our side, she shares our struggles and she constantly surrounds us with God’s love. Through her many titles, often linked to her shrines, Mary shares the history of each people which has received the Gospel and she becomes a part of their historic identity. Many Christian parents ask that their children be baptized in a Marian shrine, as a sign of their faith in her motherhood which brings forth new children for God. There, in these many shrines, we can see how Mary brings together her children who with great effort come as pilgrims to see her and to be seen by her. Here they find strength from God to bear the weariness and the suffering in their lives. As she did with Juan Diego, Mary offers them maternal comfort and love, and whispers in their ear: “Let your heart not be troubled… Am I not here, who am your Mother?

Marian Prayer

Mary, Virgin and Mother,

you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,

welcomed the word of life

in the depths of your humble faith:

as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,

help us to say our own “yes”

to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,

to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

Filled with Christ’s presence,

you brought joy to John the Baptist,

making him exult in the womb of his mother.

Brimming over with joy,

you sang of the great things done by God.

Standing at the foot of the cross

with unyielding faith,

you received the joyful comfort of the resurrection,

and joined the disciples in awaiting the Spirit

so that the evangelizing Church might be born.

Obtain for us now a new ardour born of the resurrection,

that we may bring to all the Gospel of life

which triumphs over death.

Give us a holy courage to seek new paths,

that the gift of unfading beauty

may reach every man and woman.

Virgin of listening and contemplation,

Mother of love, Bride of the eternal wedding feast,

pray for the Church, whose pure icon you are,

that she may never be closed in on herself

or lose her passion for establishing God’s kingdom.

Star of the new evangelization,

help us to bear radiant witness to communion,

service, ardent and generous faith,

justice and love of the poor,

that the joy of the Gospel

may reach to the ends of the earth,

illuminating even the fringes of our world.

Mother of the living Gospel,

wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones,

pray for us.

Amen. Alleluia!

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