The Gospel according to Luke (1:39-56)
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Reflection: “Totus Tuus” (Totally Yours).
Prior to entering Diaconate Formation, I vowed to attend mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels every Thursday morning which required for me to wake up at 4:00 and catch the 5:20 train from Upland that gets me into Los Angeles about 6:20 and to the Cathedral at 6:40 and to prepare myself for mass at 7:00. There is a shrine that is in the plaza that I just adored. It was the Shrine of Our Holy Mother and within this shrine, it had these words in Latin, “Totus Tuus” (Totally Yours). Every visit before mass I would visit the shrine of the Holy Mother. During this time, I met many people that did the same thing such as Sister Joanne Mendez; Fr. Jack; Andrea, and so many other wonderful people. I did this for almost 7 years until COVID shut the church down.
Fast forward to my ordination day, I recall on that morning my classmates, Connie and I processed from the meeting rooms on the other side of the plaza towards the Cathedral. And when I passed the shrine, I began to quiver. Connie looked at me and asked me if I was ok? My response was “No” because I was becoming an emotional wreck. In an instant, I was remembering all the wonderful things that happened in that spot before my Blessed Mother. I was recalling all the blessings and all the prayers that were answered over the years. I remember praying there with Sister Joanne. We prayed to Our Holy Mother about my wife Connie’s bout with cancer. We prayed for her niece that was struck by a train in Columbia and a couple of months later I understand that she was walking. We prayed that I would be blessed to become ordained as a deacon and prayed for so many other things. I started to understand what “Totus Tuus” meant in my life.
Mothers are our blessing here on earth. They are always there when you need them, no matter what you did. They could be “dog tired” from a very tough day but yet they will get up to do something for you. Mothers are willing to do anything for their children. They’re there when you’re sick and risk their own health. Mothers hold this strong aspect of loving their children in any phase of life or situation. A mother’s love is unconditional and eternal—a lifelong bond that unites two bodies and souls from the instant the child is born. For a mother, a child always remains her baby even if he is 62 with grey hair and chubby. Mothers vow their life with these words “Totus Tuus”. This unconditional love of mothers is what makes them so special for every child. Isn’t this the definition of Our Holy Mother? Isn’t this what she did with Jesus? And isn’t this what Jesus did when he was here on earth? Isn’t this what He is doing now to us?
Our Blessed Mother is Immaculate and perfect in every way, from the moment of her conception to the moment she was taken body and soul into Heaven to reign as Queen for all eternity. The Immaculate nature of our Blessed Mother may be hard for some to comprehend. That’s because her life is one of the greatest mysteries of our faith. As I am writing all this, it reminds me of the following prayer:
Fall in Love: Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything. – Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ
Action of the Day: Think about Our Blessed Mother. Do you understand the role she plays in your life, and do you continually seek her motherly care? She is your mother if you choose to live in the grace of her Son. Embrace that fact more deeply today and choose to make her an even more important part of your life. Jesus will be grateful you do!