The Solemnity of Mary, Mother Of God (Jan 1st)
Rdgs: (1st: Nu 6, 22-27: Ps 66, 2-6; 2nd: Gal 4, 4-7: Gos: Luke 2, 16-21)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
“Mary, the all holy ever virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit…For the first time in the plan of salvation…the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men… (CCC 721).
Today’s solemnity is a celebration of Mary’s motherhood. It highlights the special, role she played in the history of our salvation. The title “Mother of God” is derived from the Greek “Theotokos” (God-bearer). This solemnity could be traced to the Council of Ephesus in 431. In 1931, Pope Pius XI extended the feast to the entire church. Finally, in 1974, Pope Paul VI removed the feast of the Circumcision of Christ from the liturgical calendar, and replaced it with the feast of the “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.”
Through our first reading, God has equipped us for the journey ahead this year. It is a blessing and comes at no other time better than on this first day of the Year. He has pledge to allow the light of his face shine upon us. Therefore, all we need to do is simply say Amen. This is the evidence that God himself wishes to walk with us. So, we too should resolve to walk with him, and He will do the rest.
The second reading reminds us of how God took flesh by being born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Most importantly, this reading reminds us of our adoption as God’s children. Through adoption, we are children of the same father with Christ. Likewise, through adoption, we are children of Mary with Christ. So, as children of the same father and mother, we are born of the same spirit.
The gospel simply reminds us that Mary played her motherly role very well towards her son Jesus Christ. Most importantly, it teaches us that she was obedient and fulfilled all that she was told to do. Not only did she give birth to Christ, she nurtured him like every good mother would do. Hence, she is the role model of all good mothers.
New Year offers new opportunities, new ideas, and new resolutions. It is a sign of regeneration and a time of hope. Many times, I have made New Year resolutions. Unfortunately, I have not been good at keeping them. Perhaps, I was not meticulous enough to keep them. May be, circumstances prevailed against me and my plan changed.
Most importantly, may be while making those resolutions I did not consult God or seek his will first. Perhaps, the latter is the most probable. This is because we are always in a hurry to do things without involving God? So, if we have made resolutions and failed, it could be that we did not allow God to show us the way forward.
One important thing we must do this New Year is to resolve to strengthen our relationship with God. We must be ready to commit our ways unto him as Proverbs tells: “Commit your ways to the Lord, and he will establish your plans (Pr 16, 3). This year, we must refuse to move unless God goes before us. We must develop the resilient spirit of Moses who insisted before God: “If you do not go with us, do not make us leave this place… (Ex 33, 15).
So, as we begin this year, let us ask Mary, the Mother of God, to intercede for us, and to help us remain focused. “Oh, Holy Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers, oh glorious and blessed virgin, Amen. Happy New Year!
Peace be with You!