1 Chronicles 15: 3-4, 15-15; 16: 1-2
Luke 1: 26-38
It is our custom here at the monastery to keep many Saturdays during the year as mini feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of the Lord. We do this, not because it is an ancient monastic tradition, although it is; rather it is an ancient monastic tradition because what we say and believe about Mary and her role in the mystery of the Incarnation says a great deal about the mystery of God and our vocation as Christians.
As you may know Mary has a variety of titles, and not just “blessed virgin” or “mother of God” or “mother of the Lord”. One of my favourite ones is “Ark of God”.
For the Israelites of the Old Testament, the Ark of God was a physical reminder of the presence of God it their midst. It was the Ark that rested in the very centre of the Tent of Meeting, the Holy of Holies, and it was the Ark over which God’s glory hovered, for within the Ark was kept some manna from the wilderness; the two tablets of the Ten Commandments; and the staff of Aaron the High Priest.
The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Micah 5:2-5a Psalm 113
Romans 8:28-30 Matthew 1:18-25
Several years ago, quite unexpectedly, a friend and I were invited to join the annual French national healing pilgrimage to Lourdes, to be a part of a contingent of 1,000 malades and 3,000 caregivers to spend a week at the famous holy place of healing.