I spent some time last night, trying to find the perfect article to share on Facebook today, so I didn’t have to write or publish four days in a row.
However, apparently I have never addressed The Solemnity of Mary, Theotokos (Mother of God). Therefore, I spent time counting down the clock to the new year, polishing up a new article – this one!
A few hundred years ago, a heresy was floating around claiming while Mary was a great woman, she was only the mother of Jesus the human. The fully human Jesus.
Yet, the distinct part of the heresy was that heretics refused to recognize, accept, and honor the other part of Jesus – as fully Divine. Because Jesus is fully human, fully Divine. He is the only “new” and “original” thing to happen in all of history – God, Himself became man. Hadn’t happened before, hasn’t happened since.
So, in an effort to squash the heresy, and to remind Catholics of a central Church teaching, the Catholic Church mandated January 1st a Holy Day of Obligation – which sometimes is abrogated (depending on your diocese) when it falls on Monday or Saturdays. Abrogated is a fifty dollar word simply meaning the obligation to attend Mass on January 1st is taken care of, by attending your regular Sunday Mass.
And, as always should be the case with Mary, the day, whether we celebrate it in Mass or outside of it, while recognizing her role as the mother of God, points us precisely back to the One to whom the credit should go. Through the belief in Mary as the mother of God, we are pointed back to the awesome mystery and love of her Son.
God made man.
The Savior of mankind.
January 1st is also the kickoff to a brand new year, and as a society, Americans tend to make resolutions to better their lives in the coming calendar year.
I’ve already identified some of my goals for 2018 this past month. However, in light of the Feast of the Holy Family yesterday, and the Solemnity of the Feast of Mary, Theotokos, I wanted to delve a little deeper into my thoughts on my goals for this year.
In today’s culture, Mary does not, at first glance, exude the qualities women should strive to be today – strong, take charge, and assertive. Too often, many think of Mary as subservient, weak, and passive.
And yet, nothing could be further from the truth!
The woman scolded God, Himself when she found Him in the Temple after he’d been missing three days!
The woman gently pushed God to perform His first public ministry at the wedding feast at Cana!
The woman knelt at the foot of God made man’s Cross, watching Him breathe His last!
Mary, the woman, was far from weak, subservient, and passive.
Mary was bold, passionate, and strong!
This year, as we head into 2018, I want to learn from Mary:
- I want to learn how to be meek and humble in front of God.
- I want to learn how to find the strength to be passionate about my Faith, and to be passionate about my trust in God – the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- I want to learn to channel my love for those entrusted to me – to focus my entirety on the physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of my family members.
Through Mary’s example – as obedient follower of God the Father, loving mother of God the Son, and loyal spouse of the Holy Spirit – I can fully channel my desire to learn.
Through Mary’s example, I will embrace my path to sanctification.
I will find my way through peaks and valleys working toward my “business of eternity.“
I will find my way to her loving Son.
And, that is an amazing resolution for a year – to travel closer, and into a deeper relationship with, God.
God the Father.
God the Son.
God the Holy Spirit.
Will you join me in the journey?