Holy Mary Mother Of God, Accompany And Intercede For Us This Year
Readings: 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 Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at:
Congratulations my dear brethren! Today is a special day for all of us. So, happy New Year, and feast day of Mary, Mother of God. We give thanks to God for today’s celebrations, both of which are great sources of blessings. First, for the gift of a new year. Second, for the gift of a precious mother to accompany, comfort, and intercede for us throughout this year.
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The title “Mother of God” is from the Greek “Theotokos” (God-bearer). Through this celebration, the church reminds us of Mary’s special role in God’s plan. This solemnity can be traced back to the Council of Ephesus in 431. Officially, it was celebrated first in Portugal as Mary’s Divine Maternity. This was with the permission of Pope Benedict IV, in 1575.
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 on the first day of the year. He replaced it with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.”
About the important role of Mary in God’s plan and today’s solemnity, the Church teaches: “Mary, the all-holy and ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time, in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men… (CCC 721).
New Year offers us new opportunities, new ideas, and new resolutions. It is a sign of regeneration and a time of new hope. Each new year, we make new resolutions. Unfortunately, we hardly keep or fulfill them. Why? Possibly, because we are always in a hurry to make them, and consequently, do not consult God about such resolutions.
So, one important thing we must do this year is to resolve to strengthen our relationship with God. Proverbs tells: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (Pr 16, 3). Also, as the psalmist admonishes us: Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He shall bring it to pass (Ps 37: 5). Therefore, this year we must develop the resilient spirit of Moses who insisted before God: “If you do not personally go with us, we shall not leave this place… (Ex 33, 15). Also, like Enoch let us walk with God (Gen 5, 27).
Our first reading today is a very important new year’s blessing direct from God to us, his people. It is a sign of God’s faithfulness, and His willingness to work with us this year. Hence, through His blessings, God has equipped us for the journey ahead this year. So, all we need to say is a resounding amen to this blessing and walk justly with God this year.
In the second reading, Paul recounts the incarnation of God in Mary. That is, how God took flesh in the Blessed Virgin Mary. Paul reminds us of our sonship by participation and our adoption as children of the same Father with Christ. Consequently, He also reminds us that by the same adoption, we are children of Mary, the Mother of God.
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The gospel simply teaches us that Mary fulfilled her role as a Mother toward her son. She conceived and nurtured him with love and tenderness. She equally accompanied him through every step and stage of his life even till his death on the cross. In other words, not only did she give birth to Jesus, Mary helped Him to accomplish God’s plan for humanity. Through this, she presents herself as the epitome and model of good motherhood.
So, as we continue our walk with God this year, let us constantly ask for the intercession Mary, Mother of God: 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!