To be a Vessel or not?
That’s the Question!
Mary, the mother of God! A title of our Blessed Mother that came to be recognized at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Yes, she came to be recognized as that because she was already the “Mother of God” she gave birth to Jesus. The moment it was in the Father’s mind that the Son would take flesh as the Incarnate Word, He simultaneously thought of Our Blessed Mother as the vessel through which the Word of God would take human flesh. It was God’s contract with the Virgin Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus, Mother of God. But though God had thought this in His mind, He needed to seek the consent of Mary herself: would she be the vessel or not? It was for this reason that God created her: to be the mother of Jesus, who is God. But God would not impose it on her. He would need her consent to carry out His plan with and through her. So, He sent Angel Gabriel to Mary to propose the divine plan and see what she would say. She gave her consent: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to be according to your word” (Luke 1:37-38). Those were her words of consent. She agreed to be the vessel of God, the vessel through which Divine Light shines upon the world. With Mary’s answer, God’s original intention for the life of Mary synchronizes with Mary’s heart and will. The result? Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God, was conceived and born. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
That’s how God makes each one of us. Every child born in this world originates first in the mind of God. And, like our Blessed Mother, God has a reason for giving life to each of us, for bringing us into existence. At every turn of our lives, he poses the same question: would you be the vessel I made you to be or not? Would you be willing to be the vessel in my hands to bring about my plans for the world? Our life’s major task is to listen to the vibrations of our hearts and answer the question. Whenever we answer yes to that question and let God work with us to achieve his plans for the world, then we come to realize the truth that we are not made to live for ourselves but for God and for others. It is in living for God and for others that we experience authentic fulfilment in life.
Placing this celebration at the beginning of the year is very significant. We look up to our Blessed Mother and learn from her to pay attention to those nudges of the Holy Spirit, the intuitive inspirations of our Angelic Guides, and ask for the grace to say Yes to God’s plan for us. We can enter the new year with greater intention and heightened awareness of this truth. We can always ask our Blessed Mother to teach us how to learn to listen to the touches of the Holy Spirit.
May this year be new in the practical sense that we will become more aligned with God’s intention for each of us. Amen.
May Mary, Mother of God, and our mother pray for us, now and always. Amen
Happy New Year to you all.
~Fr. Cornelius Okeke