When you think of the title Mary, mother of God, which comes first to mind Mary’s role in raising the son of God or her role in bringing the Word into flesh? On one hand many might focus on her role after the birth of Jesus and find enormous lessons that Mary teaches about her relationship to her son, the word made flesh, the son of God. From the Nativity there is May and Josephs efforts to find a safe place for this son of God or phrased differently their efforts to make room for God in this world. There is her interpretations of the shepherds and the magi’s visit and the messages they bring; the one she “keeps close to her heart.” The same is true at the temple with Simeon and her effort to find Jesus in the temple among the elders. Each story in the life of Jesus where Mary is present teaches a lesson on how to approach her son and it is through her relationship with Jesus that she has the ability to intercede on our behalf.
The other side of Mary, Mother of God is her role before the Nativity and before the conception. Here is her openness to God and to the angels of God. Here is he willingness to listen to the message of the assumption and her obedience to that message. While these too offer instruction on how to approach God, they also point to Mary’s unique role as Mother of God and the role she plays in the Word becoming Flesh and dwelling among us.
In thinking of Mary the Mother of God in these two roles, I think of Mary as the Mother of God using the common analogy of the beams of the cross. The vertical beam of the cross represents in some way Jesus relationship with the Father and his bringing that relationship to us; the relationship between God and man, heaven and earth.Mary in her relationship with God possessed this union between heaven and earth.Perhaps that is what life without the stain of original sin is about? Perhaps also that is the messages contained in the annunciation and in the immaculate conception.From that union with God, Mary is uniquely capable of delivering that relationship to us through her Son. That is the horizontal beam, the one that extends to every corner of earth and reaches out to us.It is her son, the Word made flesh that delivers that message of the Father so that we too might be capable of achieving a more perfect relationship with that God.