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Friday, 30 December 2022 12:42

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - 2022

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestHappy New Year! And, with the New Year we are blessed with three occasions for this day. First, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary as Mother of God. Second, we also celebrate the Octave of Christmas and lastly, we celebrate the beginning of the New Year.

Holy Family TwitterThis title of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the oldest dogma among all the dogmas about her. It all started in the early centuries of the church when there was a debate about the nature of Jesus, whether he is human or divine. And the council of Ephesus declared that Jesus while he is truly human, he is also truly divine. And therefore Mary, being the mother of the “human Jesus” is also the mother of the “divine Jesus” even though Mary is not herself divine, she is being honoured as the “Mother of God.”

In the gospel for today, everything is happening so fast for Mary. As soon as Jesus was born on that Christmas night, shepherds went in haste to see the newborn Jesus after receiving a message from the angels of his birth. For Mary, instead of being overwhelmed, she reflected on everything in her heart. And for Mary, starting from the day the angel Gabriel announced to her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, until her wedding with Joseph, the birth of Jesus and Jesus’ circumcision and Jesus’ Presentation, everything must have been a blur but Mary appreciated all these things and reflected in her heart on all that was happening to her.

Also, as the Octave of Christmas draws to a close, we commemorate the naming of Jesus. In Jewish tradition, the naming of the child is made during the circumcision of the child and the circumcision happens on the eighth day after birth. Thereby, Mary and Joseph are honouring the command of the angel Gabriel to name the child “Jesus”, meaning God saves. And this name is very important because this is what Jesus is going to do in his life that is to save us from our sins.

And as we begin this New Year, we are given a chance to take a look at what happened from the past year and of course there are things that we should be happy about and there are things that could have been better. And of course, we should take some lessons from those in order to look at the New Year with more optimism. Some of us will make some New Year’s resolutions and I won’t blame you as many of us will want to make this New Year a new beginning.

So, as we start the New Year, we are also encouraged to be like Mary, to take time out of what is happening in our surroundings and try to find the will of God amidst all these things. Sadly, we live in a world where everything is happening so fast. Everywhere we go, we hear people moaning that time flies too fast. Why not at this start of the year, try to pause for a while and reflect on what has happened and the blessings that God has given us in the past year and be like Mary, keeping all these things and reflecting on them in our hearts.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

In the spirit of reconciliation, the Society of the Divine Word, Australia Province, acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea, sky, and community.

We acknowledge their skin-groups, story-lines, traditions, religiosity and living cultures.

We pay respect to their elders, past, present, and emerging, and extend that respect to all indigenous peoples of New Zealand, Thailand, and Myanmar.

We are committed to building with them, a brighter future together.