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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:

09/24/201426th Sunday in Ordinary Time
09/23/201425th Sunday in Ordinary Time
02/11/2014Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
01/29/2014Presentation of the Lord
01/22/2014Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
01/15/2014Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
01/09/2014The Baptism of the Lord
12/11/2013Third Sunday in Advent
10/30/2013October 6, 2013
10/23/2013October 27, 2013
10/16/2013October 20, 2013
10/09/2013October 13, 2013
09/23/2013September 29, 2013
08/21/2013August 25, 2013 - 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/31/2012November 4, 2012 - Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/24/2012October 28, 2012-Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/17/2012October 21, 2012-Twenty Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
02/29/2012Second Sunday of Lent
01/18/2012Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
08/24/2010August 29th
08/17/2010August 22, 2010
08/12/2010Assumption of Mary
05/25/2009Pentecost The Birthday of the Church
05/29/2008Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/16/200629th Sunday in Ordinary Time
10/13/200628th Sunday in Ordinary Time
06/28/2006Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
01/23/2006January 29th, 2006
01/16/2006January 22nd, 2006
01/09/2006January 15th, 2006
12/28/2005New Years Day
11/21/2005First Sunday of Advent
11/14/2005Solemnity of Christ the King
11/09/2005November 13, 2005
09/27/2005October 2, 2005
09/19/2005September 25, 2005
09/13/2005September 18, 2005
09/05/2005September 11, 2005
08/31/2005September 4, 2005
07/11/2005July 17, 2005
07/07/2005July 10, 2005
07/06/2005July 3, 2005
06/21/2005June 26, 2005
06/14/2005June 19th, 2005
05/23/2005Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
05/16/2005Holy Trinity Sunday
05/05/2005May 8, 2005
04/26/2005May 1st, 2005
04/18/2005Fifth Sunday of Easter
04/11/2005Fourth Sunday of Easter
04/06/2005Divine Mercy Sunday
04/05/2005Holy Thursday Homily
03/25/2005The Passion of John
03/14/2005PALM SUNDAY
02/28/2005Fourth Sunday of Lent
02/23/2005Third Sunday of Lent
02/14/2005Second Sunday of Lent
02/10/2005First Sunday of Lent
02/07/2005Ash Wednesday
01/31/2005Feb. 6, 2005
01/24/2005January 30th, 2005
01/17/2005January 23, 2005
01/10/2005January 16, 2005
01/05/2005January 9th, 2005
01/02/2005January 2, 2005
12/28/2004Mary, Mother of God - Jan. 1st
12/26/2004Feast of the Holy Family
12/13/2004Fourth Sunday of Advent Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14. Psalm 24: 1-6. Romans 1:1-7. Matthew 1:18-24.
12/06/2004Third Sunday of Advent Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10. Psalm 146:6-10. James 5:7-10. Matthew 11:2-11.
12/01/2004Second 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
11/29/2004First Sunday of Advent Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5. Psalm 122:1-9. Romans 13:11-14. Matthew 24:37-44.
11/22/2004The 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