Jan 1 – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is celebrated on Jan 1, the Octave Day of Christmas (i.e. 8th day after Christmas). It is a celebration of Mary’s motherhood of Jesus. The title “Mother of God” is a western derivation from the Greek term ‘theotokos’, the God-bearer.
The term ‘theotokos’ was adopted at the Council of Ephesus as a way to assert the divinity of Christ, from which it follows that what is declared of Christ is declared of God. So, if Mary is the mother of Jesus, she is the Mother of God. Therefore, the title ‘Mother of God’ and the ‘Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God’, which celebrates her under this title, are at once Mariological and Christological.
This is how they are to call down my name on the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.
The Catholic Church marks the New Year by celebrating Mary as our Mother. It is indeed fitting that we consider how we start the year under the protection of Our Lady. The New Year is a blessing upon all of us, as we are given an opportunity by God to start upon activities that will seek to glorify His name, amidst all the past failures and lost opportunities we may have encountered in the previous year.
The readings of today are one of great rejoicing and blessing because that is what the New Year should be. The Church has chosen this day for us to remember the importance of Mary in salvation history. Mary’s agreement to do the will of God enabled Man to be saved from sin. Mothers often suffer patiently and put in a tremendous amount of sacrifice for their children without the latter’s knowledge. Perhaps it will be good if there is an opportunity for us to recall what God has asked us to do.
We can follow the example of Our Lady, who surrendered her will and let the will of God flow through her entire being. As we go about today recovering from the enjoyment of New Year’s Eve, let us remember to dedicate the first day of 2021 to Our Lady and ask her to take us under her mantle, and protect us from all harm and evil.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Mother Mary, let us always follow your example of obedience as we begin the New Year.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the gift of life.