The startling reality that our Blessed Lady is the Mother of God is celebrated with the great Solemnity of Mary Mother of God on January 1. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can ponder the mystery of the Mother of God and by growing in the Virtue of Piety so he can grow in Devotion to Mary, Mother of God. 

Liturgy

Christmastime – January 1 – The Solemnity of Mary Mother of God – Lk 2:16-21

Commentary

After encountering an army of angels, stunned shepherds rush to find the Holy Family in a cave in Bethlehem, resting amidst the animals in a stable. The shepherds speak of the angel’s fearsome appearance, the announcement that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah, and the frightening army of angels who filled the night sky, singing glorious praises to God; all present wondered (to be astonished or “thunder-struck”). The Blessed Virgin Mary quietly observes God’s miraculous acts and meditates deeply upon them in her heart. 

Consistent with God’s covenant with Abraham 2000 years earlier (Gen 17:9-14), Jesus is circumcised on the eighth day after the Nativity, confirming Jesus’ solidarity with God’s chosen people, Israel. St. Joseph, the man chosen by God the Father to be the earthly father of Jesus and head of the Holy Family, fulfills all the requirements of the Law. St. Joseph either presented Jesus to a rabbi for circumcision, or may have actually performed the circumcision himself. Joseph, as the patriarch and head of the Holy Family, confirms the Son of God is to be named Jesus (“God saves”).

The Church has venerated the Blessed Virgin Mary since its earliest days.  God’s selection of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the Mother of God, Jesus’ care for her during His public ministry, and His giving of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. John at the Crucifixion, set the foundation for the Blessed Virgin Mary’s veneration. After the Ascension, the Blessed Virgin Mary was treated with great reverence by St. John, the other Apostles, and early Christians, and was “interviewed” by St. Luke in the writing of The Gospel of Luke (Infancy Narratives).  The early Church Fathers continued to venerate the Blessed Virgin Mary, proclaiming that she is the Theotokos (“Mother of God”) in the 5th century. More recently, the Church confirmed as dogma (a binding teaching) the long-held traditions of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception (1854) and the Assumption (1950). In 1964, the Blessed Virgin Mary was reconfirmed as “Mother of the Church” and, in 1969, the Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God, was designated to be celebrated each year on January 1, replacing the celebration of the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus.  

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Marvel that Jesus, the Son of God, the Son of Mary, and the Son of Joseph, created the army (host) of supernatural angels who serve Him and drew near the Holy Family at His birth, bringing consolation and protection to His earthly parents. 

Ponder the mystery of the Mother of God

Realize: Billions of women have been born but only one, the Blessed Virgin Mary, was chosen to be the Mother of God. 

Believe: Reflect upon the truth that Mary is the Mother of God (CCC 493, 495, 508-509, 963, 2619, 2677).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so You help me more fully comprehend the great blessing of the woman the Blessed Trinity personally chose to be the Mother of God and my eternal mother. 

Grow in Devotion to the Mother of God

Realize: The Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God reminds every man to venerate and rely upon the Blessed Virgin Mary’s most powerful intercession to help them in the Spiritual Combat. 

Believe: Reflect upon Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (CCC 971-972, 975, 1014, 1172).

Pray: Blessed Virgin Mary, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I grow in my devotion to you, Blessed Mother of God, and I receive the overflowing blessings of your intercessions to your Son on my behalf.