New Years Day
January 1, 2006
Mary, Mother of God
Scripture Readings: 1) Numbers 6: 22-27, Psalm 67, 2) Galatians 4: 4-7, 3) Luke 2: 16-21
Today is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. These seem awfully strange readings to have for this high feast of the Church, especially that first reading. So let’s start with the gospel and work our way back.
In the gospel, the shepherds come to this holy family bearing the news that had been shared with them by the angels: “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
This child “born of a woman,” as St. Paul says, brings the blessings promised in the Old Testament. This child, who is the heir to David’s throne, is the very face of God that shines upon all people. This child is the blessing and fulfillment of all who lived in the Old Testament. This child is the blessing and fulfillment of all who hope in him now. This child is God.
It is through Mary that this child has come to us, that God dwells among us. Mary, who willingly submitted to the will of God, deserves great honor and praise for her humility and obedience. She is the mother of Jesus, and as his mother, she is then the Mother of God.
Throughout the last year, we have been praying the Memorare during mass at the request of our bishop. This prayer must be understood properly, or else it can cause real confusion for some. It almost sounds as if we are ascribing to Mary the powers of God, in that we call her “most gracious,” and that we fly to her protection, implore her help, and seek her intercession. When we say to her that we stand before her sinful and sorrowful, and ask her to not despise our petitions, but to answer us in her mercy, it can seem like misplaced worship.
It is not, however, when it is properly understood. First, the Memorare is written in a language of love. For example, when a man says to his wife, “You are the most beautiful woman in the world,” well, she may not be. But in his love for her, she is. In the same way, this prayer is not meant to be a theological statement, but an expression of love for the Mother of God.
Even as a theological statement, there is nothing misspoken in this prayer, when it is examined closely. We do seek her protection as a child does his or her loving mother. How often have we seen shy children hide behind their parents legs when an unknown person enters a room? This is how we approach Mary. We ask her to pray for us, imploring her help and intercession. We are sinful people, and we should feel sorrow for our sins. To ascribe to Mary that she is merciful is not to have her take the place of God, or else we could not show mercy to one another in our family and friends for fear of taking the place of God ourselves. To ask her to answer our prayers is not to say that she is taking the place of God, who is the giver of all grace and good things. What prayer to her have we just made, but to intercede with us to our Lord? This is what we are asking her to do.
Today is a good day to remind ourselves that from the cross, Jesus gave Mary as a mother to the disciple whom he loved (John 19:26, 27) and from that hour “the disciple took her into his home.” We are all disciples whom Jesus loves. We are all called to take Mary into our homes as our loving and most gracious mother. As mother of Jesus, Mary is mother of God. Jesus gave his mother to us to love and honor. Let us strive to deepen our devotion to the Blessed Mother, not only as a way of fulfilling the 4th Commandment, but as a way of honoring the will of our Lord, who wants us to love Mary as he loves her.
In what ways can we deepen our love and devotion to our Blessed Mother?
List of all Reflections:
|10/31/2012||November 4, 2012 - Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|10/24/2012||October 28, 2012-Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|10/17/2012||October 21, 2012-Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|02/29/2012||Second Sunday of Lent|
|01/18/2012||Third Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|08/17/2010||August 22, 2010|
|08/12/2010||Assumption of Mary|
The Birthday of the Church|
|05/29/2008||Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|10/16/2006||29th Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|10/13/2006||28th Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|06/28/2006||Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time|
|01/23/2006||January 29th, 2006|
|01/16/2006||January 22nd, 2006|
|01/09/2006||January 15th, 2006|
|12/28/2005||New Years Day|
|11/21/2005||First Sunday of Advent|
|11/14/2005||Solemnity of Christ the King|
|11/09/2005||November 13, 2005|
|09/27/2005||October 2, 2005|
|09/19/2005||September 25, 2005|
|09/13/2005||September 18, 2005|
|09/05/2005||September 11, 2005|
|08/31/2005||September 4, 2005|
|07/11/2005||July 17, 2005|
|07/07/2005||July 10, 2005|
|07/06/2005||July 3, 2005|
|06/21/2005||June 26, 2005|
|06/14/2005||June 19th, 2005|
|05/23/2005||Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ|
|05/16/2005||Holy Trinity Sunday|
|05/05/2005||May 8, 2005|
|04/26/2005||May 1st, 2005|
|04/18/2005||Fifth Sunday of Easter|
|04/11/2005||Fourth Sunday of Easter|
|04/06/2005||THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER|
|04/06/2005||Divine Mercy Sunday|
|04/05/2005||Holy Thursday Homily|
|03/25/2005||The Passion of John|
|03/07/2005||FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT|
|02/28/2005||Fourth Sunday of Lent|
|02/23/2005||Third Sunday of Lent|
|02/14/2005||Second Sunday of Lent|
|02/10/2005||First Sunday of Lent|
|01/31/2005||Feb. 6, 2005|
|01/24/2005||January 30th, 2005|
|01/17/2005||January 23, 2005|
|01/10/2005||January 16, 2005|
|01/05/2005||January 9th, 2005|
|01/02/2005||January 2, 2005|
|12/28/2004||Mary, Mother of God - Jan. 1st|
|12/26/2004||Feast of the Holy Family|
|12/13/2004||Fourth Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14. Psalm 24: 1-6.
Romans 1:1-7. Matthew 1:18-24.|
|12/06/2004||Third Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10. Psalm 146:6-10.
James 5:7-10. Matthew 11:2-11.
|12/01/2004||Second Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10. Psalm 72, 1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17.
Romans 15:4-9. Matthew 3: 1-12|
|11/29/2004||First Sunday of Advent
Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5. Psalm 122:1-9.
Romans 13:11-14. Matthew 24:37-44.|
|11/22/2004||The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King
2 Samuel 5:1-3, Psalm 122:1-5,
Colossians 1:12-20, Luke 23:35-43|