15 August 2012
The Festival of St. Mary, Mother of Our Lord
St. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is mentioned repeatedly in the Gospels and the Book of Acts, with nearly a dozen specific incidents of her life being recorded: her betrothal to Joseph; the annunciation by the angel Gabriel that she was to be the mother of the Messiah; her visitation to Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptizer; the nativity of our Lord; the visits of the shepherds and the Wise Men; the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple; the flight into Egypt, the Passover visit to Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve; the wedding at Cana in Galilee; her presence at the crucifixion, when her Son commended her into the care of His disciple John; and her gathering with the apostles in the Upper Room after the ascension, waiting for the promised Holy Spirit. Thus she is present at most of the important events in her Son's life. She is especially remembered and honored for her unconditional obedience to the will of God ("Let it be to me according to your Word" [Luke 1:38]); for her loyalty to her Son even when she did not understand Him ("Do whatever He tells you" [John 2:1-11]); and above all for the highest honor that heaven bestowed on her of being the mother of our Lord ("Blessed are you among women" [Luke 1:42]). According to tradition, Mary went with the apostle John to Ephesus, where she died.
And traditionally, upon this very day. The Lutheran Confessions say of the Blessed Virgin: "He showed His divine majesty even in His mother's womb, because He was born of a virgin, without violating her virginity. Therefore, she is truly the mother of God and yet has remained a virgin." [FC VIII:24]
The Treasury appoints Psalm 132 as the Psalm for this day: "Arise, O God, and return to Your rest, You and the ark of Your covenant."
The collect for the day: Almighty God, You chose the virgin Mary to be the mother of Your only Son. Grant that we, who are redeemed by His blood, may share with her in the glory of Your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Posted by William Weedon at 8:15 AM