Father Michael Barrow

From the parish of St Francis of Assisi

Mary, The Mother Of God: A Reflection On The Sunday Gospel By: Fr. Michael Barrow, S.J.

Mary, The Mother Of God: A Reflection On The Sunday Gospel                           By: Fr. Michael Barrow, S.J.
Fr. Michael Barrow, SJ St. Francis of Assisi Church

A story is told of a group of religious Sisters who were captives of the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II. They were allowed to hold their services and they had a novena leading up to Christmas. Each day they brought up in procession a small statue of the infant Jesus and placed it on the altar. The Japanese guard watched all this with great interest. About the fifth day he figured it out and asked Sister McCarthy a question. "Same one?" he asked, pointing to the Infant and to the Crucifix nearby. "Yes," she replied. "Same one." And he said: "Sorry."

We can get so used to the things that we believe that we forget how amazing they really are. That Japanese guard was obviously moved by the thought of that lovely baby later being tortured. What on earth would he have thought if we had said to him: "This man is God."

It takes time for us to appreciate what we really believe when we say God became human, because he came in such a different way from what we would have expected.Mary herself would have taken time to realise it. More than once in the gospel it says that she "treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart".Throughout the whole of her lifetime she must have been 'figuring it out'.One of the hardest things to appreciate is that Almighty God, our Creator and Lord, became an ordinary human being. And that it is best expressed by saying that Mary is the Mother of God.Her son, Jesus, is human and divine.


Fr. Michael Barrow, SJ



To prepare for Sunday Mass it is a good idea to read and give thought to the readings in your missal or Bible. Here are some questions to ponder.

First Reading [Numbers 6:22-27] Call to mind someone or some people you want to bless, and quietly pronounce this blessing for them. 

Second Reading [Galatians 4:4-7] What does it mean that God has made us his heirs?

Gospel [Luke 2:16-21] Mary's prayer was to "treasure all these things and ponder them in her heart." Let us pray in the same way. 

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