Today's Readings: Acts 1:12-14, John 19:25-27
[Mass for the school children.]
There is a prayer, the “Hail Mary” that we say all the time. How many of you know it, boys and girls? Since we are crowning Mary today, I thought it might be a good thing to talk about that wonderful prayer and what it means, because just like every familiar prayer, we can sometimes forget what it means when we say it so often.
“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee…”
Mary never thought she was great all by herself. She always knew that it was because the Lord had chosen her and that the Lord had given her his grace, his help, that she could live a holy life and be the mother of Jesus.
“blessed art thou among women…”
Because Mary was holy, she is able to help all women to lead a holy life. When they follow her as mothers or even as women of faith, they have a wonderful role model. She was the first of all the apostles, the queen of the apostles, and that was because of her faith. She is an example for all women, and really all people of faith.
“and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
Mary was the first earthly temple that Jesus was to be in. Because of God’s grace and her faith, she was the perfect home for Jesus to be born in. And she said yes to that, even though she wasn’t sure how it would happen or what it would mean. She was faithful to God by saying “yes.”
“Holy Mary, Mother of God…”
It almost seems weird for us to say that Mary could ever be the mother of God. But Jesus was just as much a human as he was God. Every human has a mother, and so Mary is the human mother of Jesus who is God and man.
“pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”
This is what makes us celebrate Mary today. She is not just the mother of Jesus. She is also the mother of John, the “favorite disciple” in our Gospel reading today. And she is also the mother of you and me, Jesus’ “favorite disciples” today. Just like every other good mother, Mary prays for all of her children, including you and me, all the time – now and at the hour of our death.
Sometimes we forget how important familiar prayers are. They say a lot, though, about what we believe. The “Hail Mary” says everything about why we crown Mary as Queen of the Apostles, Queen of the Church, and Queen of Heaven and Earth today. She was faithful, she said yes to God’s will, she prays for us all the time. Mary is the mother of all of us, and as we come close to Mother’s Day, it is so appropriate that we give Mary the gift of our love and devotion today.