Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God - January 1, 2023
Numbers 6:22-27 Galatians 4:4-7 Luke 2:16-21
Today the church celebrates the Feast of the Solemnity of Mary. Yet, you sure wouldn't know it was a feast of Mary by reading the scriptures for today. In the gospel more ink is spilled on the shepherds than Mary. And in the second reading we hear simply that, "God sent his Son, born of a woman.” “A woman,” !
Poor Mary. It's a good thing she didn't need credit for her role in salvation history, because to my mind her significance eclipses everybody else’s except Jesus himself. She was there when all he could do was cry and nurse. She taught him to walk and talk. Even his first prayers were likely learned from her. When her work was done, she saw him leave for his public ministry And the rest is history. “Born of a woman,” indeed!
Today's first reading and the psalm refer to God's blessing. What is a blessing? When spoken it is a prayer that God's love and care might touch another life. But it is possible not just to speak a blessing but to be a blessing. To be a conduit through which God's love and care touches another. In this way, surely, Mary in her role as the mother of Jesus, is a blessing for all of us. Through her participation in salvation history, the Son of God was born on earth, God's love and care took flesh and blood.
Living the gospel
Like Mary, we, too, are called to be a blessing. To be an avenue through which God's love and care become concrete in our world. It happens in small ways when we are kind to family and friends. It happens in bigger ways when our commitment to the common good allows us to see all others throughout the world as our brothers and sisters and moves us to action on their behalf.
In this new year, in response to the blessing we have received, let us commit ourselves to becoming a blessing for others.