Mary, Mother of God, help me to walk with God this Year
“Mary, the all holy ever virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit… For the first time in the plan of salvation…the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men…” (CCC 721).
Happy New Year, my dear brethren! First, we give thanks to God for his favours. This is especially, for the opportunity of a New Year. Today also, we celebrate the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Both of these are sources of great blessings to us for which we must thank God.
Today’s solemnity is a celebration of Mary’s motherhood of Jesus and the role she played in the history of our salvation. The title “Mother of God” is derived from the Greek “Theotokos” (God-bearer). This solemnity could be traced to the Council of Ephesus in 431. In 1931, Pope Pius XI extended the feast to the entire church. Finally, in 1974, Pope Paul VI removed the feast of the Circumcision of Christ from the liturgical calendar, and replaced it with the feast of the “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.”
New Year offers new opportunities, new ideas, and new resolutions. It is a sign of regeneration and a time hope. A young man was asked: “What is your new year resolution? And he simply responded: “I have resolved to walk with God. I have always walked alone and failed. This year I will not walk alone again. So my number one priority this year is to walk with God. I know he will not let me fail again.”
Many times I have personally made New Year resolutions. Unfortunately, I have not been good at keeping them. Perhaps, I was not meticulous enough to keep them. Perhaps circumstances prevailed against me and my game plan changed. Most importantly, perhaps while making those resolutions I did not consult God. Perhaps, the latter is the most probable because we are often in a hurry to do things without asking God, what do I do this time, how do I do it, and where do I go from here? So, if we have made resolutions and failed it could be because we did not allow God to show us the way forward.
One important thing we must do this New Year is to resolve to strengthen our relationship and walk with God. We must be ready to commit our ways unto him as Proverbs says: “Commit to the Lord, and he will establish your plans (Pr 16, 3). This year we must refuse to move unless God goes before us. In order words, we must develop the resilient spirit of Moses who insisted before God: “If you do not personally go with us, do not make us leave this place… (Ex 33, 15). We must like Enoch (Gen 5, 24) walk with God this year in order to achieve our plans. God is ever ready and willing to walk with us.
Hence today, through our First Reading, God has equipped us for the journey ahead this year. It is a blessing and comes at no other time better than on this first day of the Year. He has pledged to allow the light of his face to shine upon us. Therefore, all we need to do is simply say Amen. This is the evidence that God himself wishes to walk with us. So, all we need to do is resolve to walk with him and he will do the rest. The Second Reading reminds us of how God took flesh by being born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Most importantly, this reading reminds us of our adoptive sonship. By adoption, we are children of the same Father with Christ. Likewise, by adoption, we are children of Mary with Him. So, as children of the same God and Mother, we are born of the same spirit.
The Gospel simply reminds us that Mary played her motherly role very well towards her son Jesus Christ. Most importantly, it teaches us that she was obedient and fulfilled all that she was told to do. Not only did she give birth to Christ, she nurtured him like every good mother would. Hence, she is the epitome of good motherhood. So as we move into this year, let us ask the Mother of God, to help us remain focused: “Oh Holy Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers, oh glorious and blessed virgin, Amen. Happy New Year to you all!
Fr. Gaspar Fernandes, OFM Cap.