Saturday, January 1, 2011

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

“And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Luke 1: 43


Theotokis! The Greek word means “Mother of God”. Why would anyone want to celebrate the Mother of God? A holy day of obligation? On New Year’s Day? Doesn’t the Church know that all of us were up past midnight last night? It’s sometimes hard simply waking up for the first day of the New Year, let alone getting a shower, getting dressed, brushing our teeth and going to Mass. They’re kidding, right?

Uhhh…no, not really. Believe it or not, there are some people in the history of the world (and currently, no doubt) that do not believe that Mary is the Mother of God, or that at best, she is the foster-Mother of Jesus, but nothing more. But if Mary were not the Mother of Jesus, than was Jesus truly Man? (Do you see how every question about Mary ALWAYS brings us back to Jesus?)

And why is it important to know that Jesus was truly Man and not just God? Because we need to know that He understands us. Of course as God He always understands us, but we don’t always believe that. Just like you may forget that your parents were once teen-agers and that they really do remember what it was like, even if they forget sometimes. Our bodies and minds and hearts yearn for Jesus in all of His humanity. We need to know that He skinned His knees as a child; that He had to learn how to walk and talk, that He felt lonely and sad. That He knew how it felt to run through the grass in your bare feet or squish sand between your toes.

If Jesus were just some vaporous spirit, we might doubt His love for us. We might doubt His sacrifice. We might begin to believe that even though He created us, He doesn’t know what we are going through. But He does! He was like us in all ways except sin.

And like each of us, He had a Mother. A mother who bathed Him and changed Him. A mother who hugged away His loneliness and who cheered Him on in whatever He was doing. A mother who poured out Her life for Him, showing Him an example of the love that He had created in her, so that His humanity could offer the purest expression of love in the fullness of time.

Maybe you don’t have the best mother in the world. Maybe your mother left you, or has passed away. But Mary is still your mother. Jesus gave her to you and I at the foot of the cross. Let’s honor her today and learn to love her more deeply for the mother that she is to us. She was good enough for Jesus, why not you?

Dear Jesus, help me to love Your mother as much as You. Help me to emulate her example of love for You and for others. Through Your grace, may I come to bring You to others, as Mary brought You to me. Amen.

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