Mary, Mother of God

January 1—Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God—The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

Holy Day of Obligation
(Obligatory in USA: unless it falls on Saturday or Monday)
Liturgical Color: White/Gold
Version: FullShort

Quote:
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. ~Luke 1:31–33

Reflection: Only a mother could begin to understand the great mystery and beauty of motherhood. But only one mother could begin to understand the unfathomable beauty of being the mother of the Son of God. After the birth of Jesus, the shepherds came to adore her Child and recounted how a multitude of heavenly hosts appeared to them, revealing that Mary’s Child was the Messiah. As Mary heard those words, she pondered them, reflected upon them, and kept them in her heart. This was but the first time we are told of Mary’s pondering heart after the birth of her Son, but we can be certain that she pondered Him over and over, entering ever more deeply into the mystery of her motherhood of the Son of God.

As the Mother of God, Mary’s prayerful pondering was beyond our comprehension. The bond she shared with her divine Son far surpassed a mere human bond. Jesus was not only her Son, He was also her Savior. Therefore, she adored Him as a mother loves her child, but also as a servant worships her God. The relationship between this unique mother and Son is infinitely awe-inspiring.

Our Blessed Mother is given the unique title of “Mother of God” first and foremost to express our faith in the divinity of Jesus. Jesus was both human and divine, but in Him these two natures were perfectly united. Therefore, one cannot say that Mary was only the mother of the humanity of Jesus, she was the mother of the Person. And that one Person was, at the same time, God and man.

Recall that once Jesus began His public ministry and was teaching, there was a woman in the crowd who cried out, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” Jesus corrected her by saying, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it” (Luke 11:27). At first read, one could conclude that Jesus was downplaying the role of His own mother, but He was actually doing the opposite. Jesus was actually highlighting the most unifying aspect of His relationship with His mother. Mary was not His mother only in a biological sense. She wasn’t blessed only because she bore Him in her womb. Rather, her deepest union with her divine Son came from her spiritual union with His will and that of the Father in Heaven. She said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). She heard the word of God and observed it perfectly. She did that at the Annunciation, she continued to do so as she raised her Child, and she did it most perfectly as she stood before the Cross, offering her dying Son to the Father for the salvation of the world. Mary’s motherhood was one that encompassed her whole being. It was one that united her to her Son in ways we will never fully comprehend.

Mary is the Mother of God and, therefore, is the mother of all of God’s children, including you. Honor and love your heavenly mother today and rejoice as you reflect upon this glorious queen and holy mother. As we celebrate this greatest saint in the history of the world, ponder the ponderer. Ponder her love for her Son. Ponder her obedience to His divine will. Ponder Him as her Savior. Ponder every human and divine aspect of their loving relationship. 

Prayer: Most holy Mother of God, you were blessed beyond all people, graced beyond what I will ever comprehend. Thank you for your “Yes” to God in all things. Thank you for your pure and holy love for your Son, for your motherly heart, your motherly pondering, and your motherly care for all your children. Pray for me that I may become more like your Son so as to merit you as my mother and queen. Mother of God, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.

Saints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year
Volumes One–Four


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

“Called in the Gospels “the mother of Jesus,” Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord.” In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly “Mother of God” (Theotokos),” (CCC 495).

“Mary is truly “Mother of God” since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself,” (CCC 509).

“Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary. Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.” In her, the “wonders of God” that the Spirit was to fulfill in Christ and the Church began to be manifested,” (CCC 721).


Further Reading:

Saint John Paul II

Saints & Feasts of the Catholic Calendar

Sanctoral

Theopedia

Franciscan Media

Wikipedia


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All Saints for the Liturgical Year

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January 1—Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God—The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

Scripture tells us three times that Mary “pondered” or “treasured” the words that she heard about her Son. The first is in Luke’s Gospel (2:19) when, after Jesus’ birth, the shepherds came to adore her Child and recounted how a multitude of heavenly hosts appeared to them, revealing that Mary’s child was the Messiah.  We can be certain that Mary pondered Him over and over, entering ever more deeply into the mystery of her motherhood of the Son of God.

As the Mother of God, the bond Mary shared with her Son is beyond our comprehension. Jesus was not only her Son, He was also her Savior. Therefore, she adored Him as a mother loves her child, but also as a servant worships her God. 

Our Blessed Mother is given the unique title of “Mother of God,” first and foremost, to express our faith in the divinity of Jesus. Jesus was both human and divine, but in Him these two natures were perfectly united. Therefore, one cannot say that Mary was only the mother of the humanity of Jesus, she was the mother of the Person. And that one Person was, at the same time, God and man.

Mary was not only Jesus’ mother in a biological sense. She wasn’t blessed just because she bore Him in her womb. Rather, her deepest union with her divine Son came from her spiritual union with His will and that of the Father in Heaven. She said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). She heard the word of God and observed it perfectly. She did that at the Annunciation, she continued to do so as she raised her Child, and she did it most perfectly as she stood before the Cross, offering her dying Son to the Father for the salvation of the world. Mary’s motherhood was one that encompassed her whole being. It was one that united her to her Son in ways we will never fully comprehend.

Mary is the Mother of God and, therefore, is the mother of all of God’s children, including you. Honor and love your heavenly mother today, and rejoice as you reflect upon this glorious queen and holy mother. As we celebrate this greatest saint in the history of the world, ponder the ponderer. Ponder her love for her Son. Ponder her obedience to His divine will. Ponder Him as her Savior. Ponder every human and divine aspect of their loving relationship. 

Most holy Mother of God, thank you for your “Yes” to God in all things. Thank you for your pure and holy love for your Son, for your motherly heart, your motherly pondering, and your motherly care for all your children. Pray for me that I may become more like your Son so as to merit you as my mother and queen. Mother of God, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.

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