Woman Clothed with the Sun

18 Aug

St. John wrote five books of the New Testament: his Gospel, three epistles, and the Book of Revelation. In Revelation 12, he uses rich imagery to describe the epic battle between the offspring of Satan and the offspring of Eve foretold way back in Genesis 3:15. The child of Revelation, who rules all nations with an iron rod (Revelation 12:5; see also Psalm 2:9; Revelation 19:15), is Christ Himself, and the woman clothed with the sun who gives birth to the child is the Blessed Virgin Mary. That’s why on several Marian feast days, including last week’s solemnity of the Assumption, the Church in her wisdom selects a Mass reading from Revelation 12.

In Revelation 12:17, we learn the identity of Mary’s other offspring: “those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.” If we are Christ’s disciples, if we bear witness to Christ and keep His commandments, we have Mary as our mother.  As St. Paul says, Christ is the firstborn of many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:29). His mother has truly become our spiritual mother.

And of course Scripture tells us that all generations will call Mary “blessed” (Luke 1:48). So it’s altogether fitting that we lovingly call Mary our “Blessed Mother.” Her mission is not to magnify herself, but to magnify or proclaim the greatness of the Lord (Luke 1:46), as she continually beckons us to be faithful disciples, to do whatever Jesus tells us to do (John 2:5).

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