Posted on August 15th, 2012
It is my joy to gather with you, dear brothers and sisters, on this day of great joy. Today we remember that most blessed of women, the holy virgin Mary, who was chosen above all women to be the bearer of God. For truly it was God in her womb. This is the great mystery hidden from the wise and powerful, yet revealed to a young girl in Galilee: that God would become flesh, God was a foetus, God was an unborn baby conceived in the virgin’s womb. Truly it was God whom she cradled in her loving arms, God who nursed at Mary’s breast, God who grew up beneath her feet.
It was God whom she took to Jerusalem, to visit the Temple for the feast. There it was God who conversed with the doctors of the law, and it was God whom she lost on the journey back. God she found again in the Temple on the third day, and God was subject to her, as an obedient Child adhering perfectly to the fourth commandment.
When to her Son Mary came with a mother’s desperation at a wedding reception without wine, she came to God. And rebuked by Him, “My hour has not yet come,” still she trusted, as she had long ago when Gabriel came to her unexpected. She says to the deacons, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
Truly these words Mary sings out across the millennia to our ears as well: “Whatever He says to you, do it.” For what He says is good.
What does He say? For this we return Sunday after Sunday, to hear His Word, as mother Mary directs us. And some words change each week, as we hear a new portion of the Gospel each holy day. But one Word remains the same at every Divine Service: For you. “Take eat, this is My body, for you.” “Take drink, this is My blood, for you.” For forgiveness. For cleansing. For healing. For you.
For the repair of a world gone wrong, a human race gone mad. The cleansing of sexual lusts defiling. The healing of illnesses dragging us to the grave. The amendment of sinful lives, minds filled with rage, hearts filled with despair, hands grasping for what has not been given.
Though we acknowledge her sin—for all born of Eve are born with the contagion of rebellion and in need of redemption—still the blessed virgin appears to us as the model child of God, the model believer. For by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, she said “Yes” to the Lord’s Word, a simple “Amen” to the will of God.
We see in her quiet acquiescence another “Amen,” another “So let it be to me according to Thy word” when, in His hour of glorification upon the tree, Jesus spoke to His mother. “Woman, behold Thy son,” He said. And included in that sonship is not only the beloved disciple, but you. “Son, behold thy mother,” He said. And thus she becomes also your mother, as He is our brother.
She said “Amen” to her Son’s death. For the sword piercing her soul is for the healing of the nations.
We honor our mother this day, who fell asleep in the confession that the Son whom she bore would be the Son who bears her across the river into paradise. Honoring Mary aright is to confess her Son as Savior of the world, and thus we imitate her faith, emulate her Amen.
So from this day forward, let us honor our blessed mother Mary, truly the Mother of God, by magnifying the Lord and at every utterance of His repeating after her, “Let it be to me according to Thy Word.”