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When he described life in his kingdom, Jesus often used to talk of a banquet. He rather liked feasts. Saint Luke tells us that "he ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners." We shouldn't be surprised then, to learn that the coming of Jesus is also heralded by feasting and singing and dancing. St Luke describes the joy of the night Jesus was born with angels in the heavens singing. "Glory to God in the highest."

Mary herself foresees the birth of her Son as bringing about the time when "the hungry will be filled with good things." And, when Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth cried out, "Of all women you are the most blessed and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord?" Mary, as Elizabeth recognized, was the Mother of the Lord. This led to the title which most effectively shows her greatness: Mary, Mother of God. It was to take another four centuries before Mary was recognized with this honor.

Just as Mary herself stored up the events of her Son's life in her heart, so it took that length of time for the Church openly to recognize the full significance of her part in Christ's life.

Flesh only allows one mother. But spirit allows another mother. Since Mary is the Mother of God she is the mother of every human person in whom Christ, her Son, is being born and formed.

We hear it said, "Jesus is enough for me, I have no need of Mary." But Jesus needed her - whether or not we do. And what is more, on the cross the Lord gave us his mother as our mother. This is something to celebrate. At Christmas we will celebrate in singing and feasting the coming of our Lord into our world. By this coming Jesus gave a new dignity to Mary, and through her, fresh hope to every Christian.

© Liguori Publications Excerpt from Advent
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