HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY MOTHER OF GOD.
THEME: ALLOW GOD TO ESTABLISH YOUR PLAN THIS YEAR!
BY: Fr. Augustine Ikechukwu Opara.
HOMILY FOR JANUARY 1ST.
(NUM. 6:22-27, GAL. 4:4-7, LK.2:16-21)
Today is a special day for all of us. Firstly, we give thanks to God for his many favors especially, for the opportunity of a New Year. Secondly, we celebrate the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Both are sources of great blessings to us and so we cannot but say thank you Lord! One remarkable thing about all our readings today is that they are all short and simple. While the first is God’s blessing upon us for the New Year, the second, and the Gospel help us reflect on the role of Mary, Mother of God in God’s plan of our salvation. It is indeed fitting that we praise Mary. Praise Mary not just because she is the mother of Jesus, but because she is our own mother.
As we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we turn our attention today to his mother Mary, but we continue to focus on Jesus as well. Like Jesus, we give many titles to Our Lady – there is a long list of them in the Litany of Our Lady of Loreto – and the title we celebrate today, “Mother of God,” (“Theotokos”) and the title “Blessed Virgin,” are the two oldest titles given to Our Lady. In one sense, the title Mother of God says more about Jesus than it does about Our Lady. That is why I said we continue to focus on Jesus today also. What does the title Mother of God say about Jesus? It means that the humanity and divinity are united in Jesus what we call the hypostatic union. There is not a separate human Jesus and a separate divine Jesus, there is one Jesus with a human nature and a divine nature, true God and true man, and because there is one Jesus, we say Mary is Mother of God. This we see in the second reading and in the greetings of Elizabeth.
New Year offers new opportunities, new ideas, and new resolutions. It is a sign of regeneration and a time of hope. Many times, we made New Year resolutions. Unfortunately, we have not been good at keeping them. This could have been due to any of the following reasons: May be, we were not meticulous enough about keeping them; May be, circumstances beyond our control prevailed against us and our game plan had to change; and most importantly, may be because in making those resolutions we did not consult God. These are all possibilities, but I think the last is the most probable because we are often in a hurry to do things without consulting God.
There were two responses to the good news of the birth of Christ. The shepherds went out of their minds. They were delirious with joy. They ran back to tell all the people what they had seen, and they couldn’t comprehend it. But Mary, sits quietly when she hears these things, and she ponders on what it means for her. Today she invites us to be at that scene to see her and the child and Joseph, and ask ourselves, not what does it mean to the world that the Savior, the promised Savior, has finally come; she asks us to ponder with her, what it means to you and what it means to me and what it means to us here today.
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 tells: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans (Prov. 16, 3).
So, my brothers and sisters, as we move into this year already blessed by God in our first reading, let us continue to ask the mother of God and our mother too, to help us remain focused all through this year in our walk with God and in all that we do.
Happy New Year!
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