Merry Christmas and happy Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God!
While all Marian feast days are special to me, this one became my favorite in 2018. I was 2.5 weeks away from a surgery that was supposed to increase our chances of conceiving and maintaining a healthy, full-term pregnancy. I saw a mother with her four younger children at Mass that morning and cried. My heart longed to be a mother. I wanted to be a mother like her and like Mary. Little did I know that there was a baby boy growing in my womb as my aching heart brought this request to God once again.
This Solemnity of Mary gives us the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be under the loving care of our Blessed Mother. In a special way, this is her Mother’s Day. And now, as a mother of three small humans on this Earth, Mother’s day is just so special.
The Church, in her great wisdom, chose the beginning of the calendar year for this Mother’s Day celebration. How appropriate that we are able to celebrate Mary’s Mother’s Day during our 12-day Christmas celebration! In the beginning of our liturgical new year (the first Sunday in Advent) we are challenged to make room for the Infant Jesus in our heart; to welcome Him as a Savior and see God’s great love for us in giving His only Son as a helpless babe. Now, at the beginning of our cultural calendar year, we are being asked to celebrate yet again, Mary’s fiat. In her “yes” we were brought closer to the Lord. Because she became the Mother of God, Jesus was able to die and rise again for us! God not only gave us His son, but also His son’s blessed mother, and therefore Mary is our blessed mother too. What a gift!
Our Gospel today reads that the shepherds went in haste to the manger housing the Holy Family and shared what they had heard. “And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Today, may we celebrate Mary’s Mother’s Day by following in her footsteps as the woman who is closest to Jesus. Let us reflect on her motherhood and the gift that we are able to call on her to bring us closer to God. Since we are unable to bring Mary breakfast in bed, perhaps the gift of a rosary and reflecting on the mysteries of Jesus’ life would be the perfect gift! There is no human who has loved Jesus more fully than our Blessed Mother.
Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!