“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 These are the words of the Virgin Mary to the Angel Gabriel sent by God to announce that she has been chosen to be the Mother of Jesus, true God, true Man.
The Virgin Mary had to endure persecution in God’s plan of salvation. When King Herod heard of the birth of Jesus he sets in motion a plot to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and in the vicinity two years old and under. To escape this genocide, the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and baby Jesus left their home and became refugees in Egypt.
The Virgin Mary’s faith in God never wavers and as Jesus is dying on the Cross, He does something important that we must reflect upon. He tells the Virgin Mary, “Behold your son.” John 19:26 and He tells the Apostle John “Behold your mother” John 19:27. We know that from that day forward Mary went to live with John, but do you think that while in agony dying on the Cross Jesus was making new living arrangements for His mother? I don’t think so! I think Jesus was giving the Virgin Mary to the world as “Spiritual Mother.” Earlier in the Scripture Jesus tells us what makes the Virgin Mary special: “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35 We know from the Book of Genesis 3:15 that God prophesies that a woman will oppose the devil. God says to Satan: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman (Virgin Mary), and between your offspring (the followers of Satan) and hers (Jesus and His disciples); he (Jesus) will crush your head, and you (Satan) will strike his heel.” The Virgin Mary is Satan’s enemy because she is faithful to God’s commandments.
The Virgin Mary embraces God’s will and she endures persecution and the most horrible suffering as she watches her Son, Our Lord and Saviour die for our sins. For those of us living in the developed world we may never know what it means to have to run from a political regime that is threatening to kill you for what you believe in, but unfortunately all around the world there are Christians being persecuted for their faith in Jesus.
The organization Open Doors estimates that in North Korea there are an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians imprisoned in labour camps. The Communist regime does not tolerate any form of religious affiliation. “Not only will the believers themselves be punished if they are discovered, but likely also their families. Immediate family members, even if they aren’t Christians themselves, will serve a sentence in a re-education camp. Christians are sent to political labor camps, from which there is no release possible.” Source: Open Doors 2014 World Watch List
Let us pray together with Our Blessed Mother Mary and all the Angels and Saints in heaven for the many Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith and love of Jesus. Holy Lord please help them! I’m so sad that we can’t all live in peace, respecting one another’s differences and opinions. Have mercy on us all Jesus!