IN MARY’S WOMB, HEAVEN AND EARTH WERE UNITED
(A biblical refection on THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – Tuesday, 1 January 2013)
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7
First Reading: Num 6:22-27; Psalms: Ps 67:2-3,5-6,8; Gospel Reading: Lk 2:16-21
The Scripture Text
But when the time had fully come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir (Gal 4:4-7 RSV).
“A light will shine on us this day, the Lord is born for us: He shall be called Wonderful God, Prince of peace, Father of the world to come; and His kingship will never end” (Entrance Antiphon I).
“Hail, holy Mother! The Child to whom you give birth is the King of heaven and earth for ever” (Entrance Antiphon II)
The Church speaks a word of hope in this first day of the new year. As we celebrate this new beginning, we are encouraged to submit our affairs to the King of heaven and earth who has come among us. The new year begins in the middle of the Christmas season and the Church would have us look at two people who play central roles during this season: Jesus and Mary.
Even as we look to Jesus, we honor Mary because through her “yes” (fiat), God’s plan to save His people moved decisively forward. God’s Son was “born of woman, born under the law …… so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4). This woman, Mary, is recognized by the Church as the “exalted Daughter of Zion” who “stands out among the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently await and receive salvation from Him” (Lumen Gentium, 55). As a faithful daughter of Zion, Mary cooperated with God and His plan was fulfilled through the fruit of her womb. She became the Mother of God and the first of the redeemed.
In Mary’s womb, heaven and earth were united so that the King of heaven and earth would come forth to redeem fallen man. She is the mother through whom the Son of God took on human flesh. The title Mother of God points to Jesus even as it speaks of Mary. On this day, we are reminded to be like Mary – to be instruments of God and allow Him to reign in our hearts.
The King of heaven and earth who came to us through her is the Prince of Peace announced by the prophet Isaiah (Is 9:6). Because her Son is the Prince of Peace, we know Mary as Queen of Peace. With this double association, the Church joins all of humanity today to pray for world peace. We ask Mary to intercede that the peace of God would reign in the hearts of all people everywhere.
Short Prayer: God our Father, we pray for peace. As we celebrate the first day of the new year, may the King of heaven and earth, who was born through Mary, the Mother of God and Queen of Peace, reign in our hearts and make us instruments of peace. Amen.
Jakarta, 28 December 2012 [Feast of the Holy Innocents]
A Christian Pilgrim