Jan 01st - Mary, Mother of God
We might ask, rightly so or not, "What? Another Marian feast? Didn't we just have the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe?" And it is also another holy day of obligation?
But this is special. This one is more than all of the apparitions and Marian theology that surrounds it. This is the statement of statements about Mary.
Mary is the Theotokos - the God bearer, the Mother of God.
Spend a moment in awed contemplation of this fact.
God will accomplish what He wills through his creation but he requires of us not blind compliance and naive submissiveness. God's will is done, if not today by you and me then tomorrow by someone else (and even we get a chance again tomorrow). God entrusts us with and requires us to freely be part of the Economy of Salvation.
Mary submitted herself to God. She submitted her body and will to His Will. Not with the meekness of a coward, out of fear or ignorance, but with the meekness of a lamb, trusting and with determination; traits she instilled in her son.
Even in natural fear and uncertainty of the future she took God's Will into her body.
She nurtured the Incarnation in her womb.
She and Joseph raised him into a man.
That man submitted his human will to his divine will.
By him we are saved from ourselves.
Herein are the truths we celebrate everyday, in the Eucharist, in the saints, in the dual nature of Christ, in...well, you name it. Everything we are emanates from this simply stated fact.
This is the reason for the hyper-dulia, above all the honor of the saints, that we give to Mary. She is Jesus' mom. A mother like any other with all of the concerns, mistakes, uncertainty, near-misses, and home-runs of parenting.
She took on not just the conception but the raising of Jesus. We can forget the everyday trials and triumphs. The providing of a household, the feeding, the clothing, the bathing, the sick, the cuts and bruises, the good days and the bad days, the death of her husband, the pride, the worry , the pushing to action in Cana, the watching him die, the support of the Apostles...all of it; all of these were part and parcel of her great Amen.
And God allowed Himself to have a mother, to be raised by her.
I could go on and on. Why celebrate today? Spend some time and think about it - at the very least get to Mass early and spend some time thanking God for such a woman! Start your year contemplating the wonders God had done for those who love Him.
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. As proof that you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.
-- Galatians 4:4-7
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