Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
By Karen Riobo
Our Blessed Mother has many names, but the one with the highest honors is Mother of God, we can find it in the Litany of the Saints that we sing during the Easter Vigil and if you pray the rosary in the traditional form, it finishes with the Litany of Loreto where she is also called Mother of God. Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God; the church honors her mission of bearing God in the person of Jesus Christ.
Mary was declared Mother of God at the Council of Ephesus in 431, and it was Pope Saint Paul VI who restored this solemnity to January 1st in 1974. It is a holy day of obligation for Catholics, meaning that Mass attendance is required.
The Catechism 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).
A Chosen Mother
Mary of Nazareth was not a regular young girl. She was chosen from eternity to be the Mother of the Savior. Tradition shares that her mother Saint Anne, was not able to conceive children, for this, she was very sadden, her husband Saint Joachim, was also troubled as in those days
barrenness was seen as punishment from God and Anne was past childbearing age. As Joachim went into the temple he was rejected because it was not proper for Joachim to bring temple offerings, as he had no children. This grieved Joachim exceedingly and he went into the desert to lament, pray, and fast for 40 days and nights. (Story based on Apocryphal gospel of James)
The Lord blessed the radical faith and personal offering of Saint Joachim and Mary was given as the most precious gift to the hopeful couple. Conceived without sin, Mary was dedicated to God and she grew up to be a server of the temple.
Our blessed Mother was also a miracle. Her story reminds us that nothing is impossible for God and that we must trust His timing as Saint Anne and Saint Joachim did. We must be consistent in our prayer and faithful to Our Lord, who always honors His promises.
Her womb was God’s dwelling place, Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God - Luke 1, 30
Mary carried God in her womb for nine months, she took care of Him and nurtured Him.
May this feast remind us that we can too ask for Mary’s intercession and care, just like she cared for God, she desires to cover us in her mantle and wrap us in swaddling clothes of grace, like baby Jesus.
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