As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.
We begin a new year with an ancient feast. From the time of the early church, Mary has been known by the Greek title, Theotokos. This is a term which means “God-bearer”. There was even a 5th century council (the Council of Ephesus) which re-asserted that Mary could rightly be called, “Mother of God”. When you think about it, it is an extraordinary title — “Mother of God”. The Church is not saying, of course, that Mary somehow pre-dates or precedes God. As with any title that is given to Mary, it is really a claim about Jesus Christ. Giving Mary that title of “Mother of God” is to say that Jesus was Divine from the moment of his conception. He did not “grow into” being God. Jesus grew as a human being under the guidance of Mary and Joseph, but he was always God. In this sense, Mary is considered “Mother of God”.
As with any title that is given to Mary, its full meaning also includes us. Mary is “Mother of God” but also “Mother of the Church” and our mother. Theotokos — God-bearer — is also a title that is applicable to us through our baptism. Are we, too, not “bearers of God” to one another? Are we, too, not called to “carry Christ” into the world? Are we, too, not asked to “give birth” to Christ through our relationships and care and concern for one another, especially the most vulnerable and those in need?
May 2017 be a time of blessing, joy, love and laughter for us all. May we be kept safe from all harm, lifted out of any despair, and may the deepest prayers of our hearts rise up to God and find an attentive ear and a willing Grace speedily coming to our aid. May Mary, the Theotokos, teach us how to bear Christ gently and tenderly throughout the year ahead.
|Jan 13, 2017
|Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God (Year A) 01.01.2017