As we prepare in a few days to celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lady’s Assumption into heaven, it seems to me that it is appropriate that we pause and reflect upon the role that Mary, the Mother of God, plays in our Catholic lives of faith. She is our powerful intercessor, spiritual protector and role model as the perfect disciple of Her Son.
It was Saint Augustine who first taught his listeners centuries ago that Mary was to be revered among believers not solely because she was the one chosen from among all women to give birth to the Son of God into the world. In addition, it is precisely because Mary, through her fidelity to what the Father had asked of her and by her selfless, sinless, unwavering commitment to Her Son, Mary was the first and perfect disciple. Her entire life was in service to her Son and His Mission in the world. She alone walked alongside her Son throughout His entire earthly life, in the quiet years of His upbringing and throughout His public ministry. In this way, Mary taught us what the essence of discipleship really is. It is a complete, personal commitment to invite Christ to lead us in life, at every moment and in all circumstances, bringing forth His presence into the world by our words, attitudes, actions, and decisions.
Just as Mary was filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit at the moment of the Incarnation, we too have received the power of the Holy Spirit in Baptism, Confirmation and each time we receive the Lord’s Sacred Body and Blood. Just as Our Lady gave birth to the Son of God, likewise we are invited to spiritually bring forth our Lord into the world as His disciples, by allowing Christ to “increase” in us and our egos and self-absorption to “decrease”.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos!