MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD
(A biblical refection on THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD – Octave of Christmas – Friday, 1 January 2021)
Gospel Reading: Luke 2:16-21
First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27; Psalms: Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8; Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7
The Scripture Text
And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this Child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
And at the end of eight days when He was circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. (Luke 2:16-21 RSV)
Have you ever considered why we have a special feast to celebrate Mary as the Mother of God? Actually, this feast is meant to celebrate Jesus’ divinity. By recognizing Mary as the Mother of God, we are proclaiming our faith in who Jesus is. Early in the Church’s history, some heretics taught that Jesus assumed His divine nature at His baptism or at His resurrection. Others taught that Jesus was merely a good man who taught us how to please God. Recognizing Mary as the Mother of God, and not just the mother of Jesus of Nazareth, upholds a central truth of our faith: Almighty God became flesh in the womb of a human being.
As Mother of God, Mary bore Jesus into this world. Now, as Jesus’ mothers, sisters, and brothers (Mark 3:35), we are called to follow Mary’s example and bring the life and love of God to others. We too are called to be “God-bearers” (Greek: Theotokos).
Of course, we may ask, “How could I hope to have the kind of relationship with God that Mary did? After all, she is the Blessed Virgin!” Yet, God has a very specific plan for each and every one of us, to raise us up to His divine life. He wants to teach us how to treasure His word and ponder it (see Luke 2:19). He invites us to quiet our souls so that we can hear His voice. He wants to win our hearts over so much that our trust in Him and our obedience to His will would be undivided.
How can we become more open to God’s word? We can begin by setting aside time for Him – time without television, telephone calls, and other kind of distractions, among others from various social media. We can bring to Him our guilt, shame, or anxieties – everything that blocks our experience of His healing love. As we open our hearts to Jesus, read the Holy Scripture, and obey the promptings of His Spirit, we will begin experiencing the heart of peace that Mary knew. Therefore, let us set aside a little quiet time for God every day. As we do, we too will come to know His love, His promptings, and His grace.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, since You gave mankind a Savior through blessed Mary, virgin and mother, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the Author of life, who lives and reign with You and Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 31 December 2020
A Christian Pilgrim