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01/01/17 Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God - Fr. Reggie

What’s in a name? In the ancient Jewish mentality, a name signified both an essence and mission. For example, Moses was the one “drawn from the water,” which indicated both his origin and his role in leading God’s people to salvation.

Today’s gospel tells us that the Incarnate Son of God was named “Jesus.” Jesus means “The Lord Saves.” It points to the great mystery of God’s mercy.

All that leads us to today’s feast, Mary, the Mother of God. Since Jesus is truly God and truly man, Mary is the mother of God. And since she is the mother of God, she is also known as “Mother of Mercy.”

Mary is our Mother too, and she helps us to recognize and receive God’s mercy in our lives. She brings us to Jesus, the Mercy of the Father, God Saves.  

On May 13, 1981, Saint John Paul II should have died. Ali Agca, a professional assassin, fired two shots from point blank range. The first bullet just grazed Pope’s arm. The second pierced his stomach, missing the main abdominal artery by about one-tenth of an inch. If the bullet had struck the artery, the Pope would have bled to death in minutes. He recovered, and went to visit Ali Agca in prison to forgive him. Agca asked him one simple question: “Why aren’t you dead?” Saint John Paul II answered that question in St Peter’s Square when he said that one hand fired, and another guided the bullet. He referred to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

May 13th is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. His mission as Pope wasn’t finished yet. Mary, Mother of God and Mother of Mercy, saved his life that day.

When we’re at home, it’s the most natural thing in the world to say “Good Night” to our mothers. It’s a sign of our love for them. It’s also a sign of our gratitude.

Why not do the same thing with our heavenly mother? If we want to grow in our relationship with the Blessed Mother, saying good night to her is an excellent means.

So this week, let’s pause for a minute before going to bed. Let’s look at a statue or a picture of Mary, and simply say good night and ask her to watch over our sleep.

And our Mother of Mercy will take care of the rest.  

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