Commentary on the Gospel of

Cindy Costanzo - Creighton University's College of Nursing



Today we honor and celebrate the life of Mary, mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church.

Our Blessed Mother Mary was a remarkable woman. I have a beautiful print given to me as a gift from my daughter purchased from the Philadelphia Museum of Art called the Annunciation by Henry Ossawa Tanner.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art writes “Henry Ossawa Tanner painted an unconventional image of the moment when the angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear the Son of God.”

I was introduced to this print during a prayer group with a friend and Sister from Notre Dame where our discussion focused on the reality of what Mary faced following the visit of the angel Gabriel.  A young Jewish woman who was asked if she would give birth to a child and this child would be the Son of God.  Her acceptance and demonstration of faith was extraordinary knowing the consequences a young woman faced during this era. In the book, Holiness and the Feminine Spirit, Janet McKenzie (artist and writer) says it well in the first chapter called The Chosen One, “She accepted God’s invitation to do something beyond human understanding” p. 2.

Mary is an inspiration for so many women (past and present) who have demonstrated a level of faith that is extraordinary. For those women whom I know, I thank God for putting them in my life. For those women I have not personally known, but have discovered, I thank God for their contributions to our world. We stand on their shoulders as we journey forward. Women accept impossible jobs, take significant risks, are marginalized, and overcome insurmountable barriers, yet they achieve the impossible. Women have the most amazing gifts, one of which is supporting each other. This is described so well in The Visitation. After accepting the invitation to bear the Son of God, Mary visits Elizabeth, her older cousin who is also with child. Women supporting women.  So today, let’s give honor to our Holy Mother Mary.  Let’s celebrate the women in our life. Let’s work in partnership with the women in our lives. I know this will make a better world.  God will guide us. 


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