Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God
Malvern Minute

 

Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God

January 1, 2021

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media, PA

 

Book of Numbers 6:22-27

Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians 4:4-7

Luke 2:16-21

 

            As a Catholic Christian community we are so fortunate to begin the New Year by celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God.  This title for Mary is an acknowledgment of the two natures of her Son, our Lord Jesus, who is both Human and Divine.   We celebrate Mary not only because she conceived and bore Jesus but also because she is Jesu’ most faithful disciple and our model for following Jesus. 

            In today’s Gospel narrative of Saint Luke we are invited to contemplate Jesus’ birth; shepherds responding to angels and rushing to Bethlehem and beholding Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus lying in a manger.  We also learn that, “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”  Here Mary teaches us that being a disciple of Jesus means keeping Him in the center of our hearts and allowing His presence to guide all of the thoughts, words, and actions of our lives.

            From the day of her birth to the day of her death Mary contemplated Jesus.  Christian art portrays Mary as “Madonna” as she is the mother absorbed with the child at her breast.  She is also the “Sorrowful Mother,” the fearless follower of her Son even amid all of the persecution and false accusations and left almost alone at the foot of the cross, a time when most of Jesus’ disciples had abandoned Him. 

            God the Father sent the Holy Spirit to Mary and she became the Mother of God.  God sends the Holy Spirt to us and we become God’s children, temples of God and tabernacles of Christ when we consume Him with the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. 

            Sisters and brothers, we begin our New Year with scripture readings that are very positive in nature.  They reinforce us rather than discourage us.  Unfortunately as we look back at the challenges we faced in 2020 we can easily become discouraged with the direction of our world and what to expect in 2021.

            We must challenge ourselves to look forward to the opportunities that will help make our world a better place to live.  Not only in our own country that has been plagued with the COVID-19 pandemic, divided by political ideology, social injustice as well as other factors.  We are still blessed to live in a country that allows the freedoms we enjoy. 

Today, January 1, 2021, we should not think of “New Year’s Resolutions.”  Today we must think about “New Year’s Realizations.” 

One “Realization” is to always remember that we are all, every one of us, unconditionally loved and blessed by God.

A second “Realization” is that we can all learn much more about what it means to be the sons and daughters of God.  To attend Mass (when possible and in safety) and receive the Holy Eucharist.  To receive the gift of forgiveness through the sacrament of Reconciliation.  And, most importantly to turn your home into a “Domestic Church” and pray together as a family.

A final “Realization” is that in order to grow as sons and daughters of God we need to pray more and love more as we honor and obey the two most important commandments; to love God and love our neighbor.

As we celebrate this great Solemnity our Blessed Mother teaches us that being a disciple of Jesus is a matter of the heart.  She teaches us to contemplate Jesus and to transform our lives with our words and our actions.  A beautiful reminder for us is to visualize the baby Jesus in the manger reaching out to us with open arms which should leave lump in our throats.  When we see the crucified Jesus on the cross with his arms outstretched we should fee a lump in our hearts. 

May I personally wish you a Happy New Year to you and your family.  May God bless you and keep you safe as you continue to proclaim and live the Good News of our Lord Jesus.

Question of the Day:   How will you follow the discipleship of Mary in the New Year?

Prayer:  Father, help us in this New Year to keep our gaze constantly upon Your Son who continues to call us into a life of service to others.

Prosit

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