The recognition of The Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God goes back even before the birth of Jesus. When Mary visited her relative Elizabeth, she was greeted with the words, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43). As early as the year 421, St Cyril, the bishop of Alexandria proclaimed, “I am exceedingly astounded that there could be anyone who has any doubt as to whether the Blessed Virgin should be called the Mother of God. If Our Lord Jesus Christ is God, why should the Blessed Virgin, who gave Him birth, not be called the Mother of God?” This was officially declared a dogma of the Catholic Faith by The Council of Ephesus in 431.
January 1st is the day chosen by the Catholic Church to celebrate the solemnity of Mary, The Mother of God. Unfortunately, many of today’s Catholics don’t realize that this day is a Holy Day of Obligation and many of those that do think they go to Mass to celebrate the New Year! While it is important to look forward to reforming our lives in the New Year, let’s not forget about Mary who, by saying “yes” became the Mother of God. We must not forget, however, that she is also the Mother of us all.
Referring to Jn 19:26-27 where Jesus entrusted Mary to the care of the Apostle John, the late Pope John Paul II observed, “From that day onwards the whole Church has her as Mother. And all men have her as Mother. The words pronounced upon the cross are understood as being addressed to each one of us.” As we begin another year and try to move closer to The Lord, let’s not forget to ask Our Mother for help to stay on track.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray For Us!