Mary’s Service

Friends in Christ, today is a Saturday of Our Lady, and so I thought today we could consider something that Adrienne von Speyr mentions in her book about Mary.
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During the past Christmas season, we reflected on that encounter between Mary and the angel Gabriel; Mary responded with an expression of humility: ‘I am the maidservant of the Lord, may it be done unto me according to Thy word.’ Adrienne Von Speyr says, Mary places herself at the service of God. She does not put any limitations on this service.
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Part of her obedience to the Lord will be in the daily matters of the household, her work in the home of Joseph, and all the dealings with relatives and neighbors. The Blessed Virgin makes no distinctions between her service owed to heaven and that of doing God’s will on earth; love of God and love of neighbor merge into ‘one love of God;’ really, she is now carrying heaven within herself: Jesus.
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In fancy homes where they have servants or maids, the owner of the house first shows her all the rooms and chests; the linens and the washing, the stove and so on. Once she is able to understand the home and her duties, in a sense, she knows her employer’s thoughts and wishes, and she wants to carry them out.
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Mary is this way, because she has come to know the thoughts and priorities of her Son, and so she gives of herself in his service. It is true, most maids or house servants only work a limited schedule with limited responsibilities; but Mary’s service to her Son is total and unlimited; she knows that she must be flexible as she serves her Son’s changing needs.
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For example, the desires of her Son Jesus change according to his age; in his Infancy, she tended to his little, physical needs. When Christ lived his public life, Mary served one way, at the Cross another, and in the early Church she tended to the Apostles and the concerns of her Lord’s early followers.
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But in these days, Mary’s service concerns her with the Living Body of Christ, with us; but this is not just in some general way, but in the particulars, with each individual disciple of Jesus.
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When we are little, we take for granted the service of our dear mothers, who mend our socks and wipe our face and make good food. Sometimes, when we are older, we are able to appreciate our mother, and we see how, in all those little acts of service – how she has won our heart.
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Mary is like that, serving us and concerning herself with the details of our life. And that is why we can never love and honor her enough.

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