Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God 2016

     Today, as the world celebrates a new year, we as Catholics pause to remember the Mother of Him who created time and space. While often non-Catholics accuse our Marian Piety of being an attempt to worship the Blessed Virgin, the reality is this feast worships only our Lord while honoring her who brought our savior into the world.  After all “Mary is one of the human beings who in an altogether special way belong to the name of God, so much so, in fact, that we cannot praise him rightly if we leave her out of the account.”[1] From the earliest times the Blessed Virgin has been honored under the title of Mother of God, because in honoring her under her proper title, we honor not only her, but we recall the truth that Jesus is both fully God and fully man.

     St. Paul reminds us in today’s 2nd reading that Jesus, the Son of God, was “born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”[2] In this last day of Christmas, as we honor the Mother of God, we are reminded that God became man not only to teach us and to inspire us but primarily to save us. He was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was born in the manger of Bethlehem, to die for us and in dying to destroy Satan’s age-old grip of sin, so that in rising He might empower us to truly live as He created us to live.

     Today we celebrate the truth that Jesus is truly our savior because of His mother Mary. Jesus can truly save us because as man, He can justly atone for the sins of mankind and as God He has the power to bridge the divide that sin wedges between God and humanity. Mary then is the linchpin, which unites us to our salvation. Jesus, the saving link between God and humanity, the one who “invisible in his own divine nature, has appeared visibly in ours; and begotten before all ages has begun to exist in time,”[3] was born to the Virgin Mary and so it is only right to call her the Theotokos, the Mother of God. This title of Theolotokos, which dates to the mid 200’s, must be true, because if Jesus Christ is God, how can our Blessed Mother who gave birth to him not be the Mother of God. And if she is the mother of God, does she then not have a special role worthy of praise? Is she then not a mother whom we should turn to and ask to intercede for us? After all, what son would not listen to the request of his own mother? My friends if we believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man, we cannot be troubled with the virgin birth for “he who believes our Lord is true God and true man is never troubled with the Virgin birth,”[4] because “throughout all history, the Blessed Mother has been the link between two contraries: the eternal punishment of hell for sinners and the universal unlimited redemption of her Divine Son.”[5] Come then, let us turn to the mother of our savior, the Mother of God and beg her to intercede for us, trusting that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help, or sought her intercession was left unaided.[6]

[1] Joseph Cardinal  Ratzinger  and Hans Urs Von Balthasar. Mary the Church at the Source. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005. Pg 63

[2] Gal 4: 4-5

[3] Preface II For the Mass of the Nativity of the Lord.

[4] Sheen, Fulton. The World’s First Love Mary, Mother of God. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2011. Pg 65.

[5] Sheen, Fulton. The World’s First Love Mary, Mother of God. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2011. Pgs 233-234.

[6] Memorare.

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