We celebrate today Mary, the Holy Mother of God. We celebrate the maternity of Mary not only as one of the mysteries of Christmas, but also because her vocation is ours as well.
Like Mary, we are are called to welcome the Word of God, Jesus Christ, and to "protect Christ in our lives"--as Pope Francis said during the Mass for the beginning of his Petrine ministry--in order to be able to bear him and his mission into the world and into history.
In this sense Mary is the prototype of the Church; what she has done historically we are called to do spiritually. In the words of Lumen gentium, Mary "is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected is the world to come." (68)
It is the task of the Church, and of each of us as her members, to welcome the Word, to nourish and protect it, and to bear it and give witness to it in our relationships, in our projects, and in our world.
In this sense, God seeks our maternity. It is a virginal maternity because there is no earthly father, but only the Holy Spirit who conceives the Christian vocation within us as the presence of Christ.
God seeks us, as St. Francis greeted the Blessed Virgin Mary, as virgo ecclesia facta, 'the virgin made Church,' as a virginity ready to keep and hold the presence of Christ such that his presence might be born throughout the world.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!