Monday, January 01, 2007

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! The Church helps us begin this new calendar year with a major feast in honor of the Blessed Mother: "Mary, Mother of God". Although today is not a Holy Day of Obligation in the U.S., it is still a solemnity which is deliberately placed on this day so that we may begin a new year of our Lord through Mary. The following are reflections from Pope Benedict XVI given on January 1, 2006, the World Day of Peace - "Courage and Trust in God and Man is Necessary":

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In today's liturgy our gaze continues to be turned to the great mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God, while with particular emphasis we contemplate the Motherhood of the Virgin Mary.

In the Pauline passage we have heard (cf. Galatians 4:4), the Apostle very discreetly points to the One through whom the Son of God enters the world: Mary of Nazareth, Mother of God, 'Theotokos.'

At the beginning of a new year, we are invited, as it were, to attend her school, the school of the faithful disciple of the Lord, in order to learn from her to accept in faith and prayer the salvation God desires to pour out upon those who trust in his merciful love.

…And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart' (Luke 2:19).

The first day of the year is placed under the sign of a woman, Mary. The Evangelist Luke describes her as the silent Virgin who listens constantly to the eternal Word, who lives in the Word of God. Mary treasures in her heart the words that come from God and, piecing them together as in a mosaic, learns to understand them.

Let us too, at her school, learn to become attentive and docile disciples of the Lord. With her motherly help, let us commit ourselves to working enthusiastically in the 'workshop' of peace, following Christ, the Prince of Peace.

After the example of the Blessed Virgin, may we let ourselves be guided always and only by Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and for ever! (Hebrews 13:8). Amen."

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