One thought from today’s Gospel

Today the Church celebrates the Epiphany of Our Lord. If Christmas celebrates Our Lord’s incarnation, then the Epiphany celebrates His manifestation to the world. The Gospel account of the Epiphany provides much fodder for our meditation. Let me lift up one point we might overlook: “on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother” (Matthew 2:11). Our Blessed Mother is with Our Blessed Lord. While I am sure that Saint Joseph was not far off, the detail of Our Lady being with Jesus is very important for our following of Christ. We should not think that Marian devotion has little importance—few things are more important. Without having Blessed Mary as a tender mother our spiritual life would be lopsided at best and ineffectual at worst. My heart always sinks when I pray with people who do not even know the Hail Mary. Is there a bigger poverty than that? The words of the Hail Mary always give me consolation and confidence: “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” Praying to Mary, or praying to Jesus through Mary, draws us close to her. Today on the Epiphany of Our Lord, let us imagine that we, like Saint Juan Diego, are in Our Lady’s mantle as she says, “Am I not here, I, who am your mother.” To be near Jesus we need to be close to Mary. Being close to Mary, we can give Jesus the gift of our love.

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