Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God
January 1, 2022—Happy New Year!
Numbers 6:22-27, Psalm 67:22-27, Galatians 4:4-7, & Luke 2:16-21
As we continue to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus, we turn our attention to His mother, Mary, as we acknowledge her as the Mother of God, one of the first titles given to Our Lady. We call her "Mother of God" not because God came from her, instead because she gave birth to Jesus, who is both God and man. A title that reminds us that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human.
Today, as we reflect on Mary, we recall that she is not just the Mother of Jesus but our spiritual mother as well. Our Lord confirmed this from the cross as he said to the apostle John and us, "Behold, your mother." Just as mothers are present in a distinct way for their children when they suffer, Our Lady is also present for us, especially when we need her assistance.
I remember Our Lady's presence in the life of Pope John Paul II, whose mother had died when he was young and how he took Our Lady as his spiritual mother in a unique way. Here are the words of Cardinal Ratzinger during Pope John Paul II's funeral homily: "The Holy Father found the purest reflection of God's mercy in the Mother of God. He, who at an early age had lost his own mother, loved his divine mother all the more. He heard the words of the crucified Lord as addressed personally to him: "Behold, your mother." And so, he did as the beloved disciple did; he took her into his own home."
Just as Pope Saint John Paul II relied on Our Lady throughout his life, we, too, thank her for her intercession and guidance in helping us throughout our lives. Today's celebration is a beautiful way to honor her and the other Solemnities and feast days in her honor throughout the liturgical year. It is also a great day to celebrate our living and deceased mothers. We know Our Lady loves us, and we love her and are happy to venerate her as Mother of God.
Question of the Day: Will you take Mary, the Mother of God, into your home as your spiritual Mother?
Prayer: God, through the fruitful virginity of Mary, You bestowed the blessings of eternal salvation on humanity. Grant that we may enjoy her intercession, for we received Your Son, the Author of Life, through her. Amen. (Adapted 'From Lives of the Saints, Illustrated')