Thoughts for the Day

Sunday, 15th August 2021: Mary, the Mother of Jesus

Disciples Mary Jesus Acts 1

Reading : Verses from Acts, Chapter 1


As the disciples were watching, Jesus was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away. When they entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Today we remember Mary, the mother of Jesus in the church calendar. Lets recap what we know about her: Firstly, she has a number of names. We know her as St Mary, or the Virgin Mary, or the Mother of Jesus, or the Mother of God. In the first few centuries the doctrines about Mary grew, and in the Catholic Church she has enormous importance. But perhaps in the Anglican Church we don't give her enough importance - after all she was chosen by God to bear His Son, Jesus.

Mary was a very young woman, for girls were traditionally married not long after puberty, and she was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter, from Nazareth. The most amazing thing about Mary though is her obedience and humility, as we see when the Angel Gabriel comes to tell her that she will bear God's Son, even though she is a virgin. Her response is "Let it be with me according to your word". We then see her with her cousin Elizabeth, who will bear John the Baptist, followed by the journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus with the coming of the shepherds and Magi, followed by the presentation in the Temple, before the flight to Egypt. After a few years the family return and the twelve year old Jesus is taken to the Temple. Twenty years later Mary reappears at the wedding in Cana for Jesus' first miracle, and eventually with one exception, at his crucifixion where she is entrusted to the apostle, John. Her last appearance is in today's reading from the Acts of the Apostles where she is part of the group of Apostles in the upper room meeting for prayer.

Mary is present from the beginning - from Jesus' birth to his death and resurrection, and finally to his ascension. Do we give her enough importance in our faith, I wonder?


Heavenly Father,
we thank you that You chose Mary
to be the mother of Your Son.
We thank You that she chose to obey You,
even though she might have been
killed for bearing a child outside marriage.
May we try to copy her humility,
and accept Your decisions about our life,
also saying "may it be according to Your will".

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to listen to Schubert's 'Ave Maria' sung by Andrea Bocelli in a concert in Rome:

Return to index