Homily for the Solemnity of Mary, the mother of God (New year mass)
Theme: NEW YEAR, NEW VIRTUES
(My imitation of the Mother of God)
By: Rev Fr Gerald Muoka
Homily for Friday January 1 2021
R1 – Num 6:22-27
RESP PS – Ps 67:2-3,5-6,8
R2 – Gal 4:4-7
GOSPEL – Lk 2:16-21
In 1929, just 17 days short of his 9th birthday, the young Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope John Paul II), came home from the school in the evening. He was accustomed to see his father, a strong soldier in the Polish army, praying on his knees on their parlour’s hardwood floor.
That day, when the young Karol, saw his father praying, he saw his Dad’s knees bathing in a pool of tears. “What’s wrong, Papa?” the young future Pope asked his Dad. “Karol, your mother has died!” was his father’s reply. Not knowing quite what to do, the eight-year-old ran out of his home to the local parish Church in Wadowice, less than half a block for the Wojtyla apartment. He entered the Church and almost instinctively ran up the aisle of the Church to a kneeler in front of a statue of our Lady and, with his own tears, said to her: “Blessed Mother of Jesus, I don’t know why God took my mother to His home at the time He did. But I do know one thing: *YOU ARE MY MOTHER NOW!”*
The Holy Father, who entrusted himself to our Lady before his ninth birthday, continued to consecrate himself to her ever after. His very motto, “Totus Tuus,” comes from a prayer of consecration to our Lady written by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, which he prayed every day: *“I am all yours, O Mary, and all I have is yours. I take you completely into my home. Give me your heart, O Mary,” so that I may love God with it.*
Beloved in Christ, today is 01/01/21. The long awaited New Year, 2021 is here. The Holy Mother Church, in her wisdom, chose to begin this year with the Solemnity of the Most blessed creature on earth, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s *”THEOTOKOS”* (Mary the Mother of God); whom the scripture says:
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?”
And like the little Karol, the future Pope JohnPaul II declare: “YOU ARE OUR MOTHER NOW!”
The Council of Ephesus affirmed in AD 431 that Mary was truly the Mother of God (Theotokos), and in AD 451, the Council of Chalcedon affirmed the Divine Motherhood of Mary as a dogma, an official doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church.
Pope St. Paul VI at the conclusion of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council, Nov. 21, 1964, fulfilled the gestures of the little Karol in the introit story, by declaring the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Mother of the Church.” That is to say of all Christian people, the faithful as well as the pastors, who call her the most loving Mother.
Then, in 1970, Pope St. Paul VI instituted the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. In his Apostolic Exhortation on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Marialis Cultus, he wrote:
“This celebration, assigned to Jan. 1st in conformity with the ancient liturgy of the city of Rome, is meant to commemorate the part played by Mary in this mystery of salvation. It is meant also to exalt the singular dignity which this mystery brings to the ‘holy Mother … through whom we were found worthy … to receive the Author of life.”
*LIFE MESSAGES – MY IMITATION OF MARY (NEW YEAR, NEW VIRTUES)*
The beginning of each year is inaugurated with resolutions that would make the year a better one than the previous one. As we begin this year, 2021, the church invites us to imbibe the following lessons that mostly hinge on the heroic virtues of the Mother of God. Some of them include but not limited to the following;
(1) THROUGH MARY, TO JESUS
(4) PURITY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
*(1) THROUGH MARY, TO JESUS*
In the second reading, Paul reminds the Galatians and us that God’s Son has become one of us through Mary, and that it is through Jesus that we have become the children of God. In other words, in all our experiences of shortage of wine, like in the wedding of Cana that poses imminent threats to shame, locate Jesus through Mary (Jn 3:5); by promoting devotions to Mary, the Mother of God.
The Gospel reading, remarks that Mary silently treasured everything in her heart. That of the Blessed Mother Mary is thoughtful and prayerful silence, that disposes her for Divine encounters. Silence, they say is Golden. Many homes are breaking today because of lack of thoughtful and prayerful silence. You must not respond to every provocations with ranting.
And as we have entered a new year, talk more to yourself and less to others, especially, over your new year dreams and resolutions. Remember, Joseph’s communication of his dreams to his brothers almost foisted and frustrated his dreams.
The Scripture says that no one can please God, not even the righteous, without faith (Heb 11:6). Mother Mary’s faith and trust to God were quite phenomenal and emulating. Imitate her faith that, “Nothing is impossible before God”(Lk 1:37), because the scripture assures that, “For those who love God, nothing is impossible” (Mtt 14:7, Luke 1:37). So, walk into your new year dreams, targets and plans with faith and be counted like the blessed Mother Mary, among the blessed gang this New Year.
Nothing kills dreams more than sin and immorality. Mary’s chastity won her the crown of “Theotokos”(Mother of God) as desired by God that, “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Is 7:14).
Don’t allow sin, especially, sexual immorality to mar or truncate God’s plans for your life this year (Jer 29:11).
Finally, there is a beautiful little story about a long, tedious train journey, made one Christmas day by some elderly residents of a nursing home who were on their way to a vacation spot. At one station, a young mother with a small child entered the train. The child smiled at all the grim faces around him and began moving from one lap to another talking, shouting with joy and chatting with everyone. Instantly, the grim and silent atmosphere in the train was changed to one of joy and happiness. Today we remember with joy and gratitude, how Mary and her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, transformed a hopeless, joyless and sinful world into a place of joy and happiness.
*NEW YEAR BLESSINGS:*
AS THE LORD CHARGES ALL HIS PRIESTS TO BLESS HIS CHILDREN TODAY IN THE FIRST READING (NUM 6:25)
THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD, I BLESS THIS NEW YEAR FOR YOU:
● MAY JESUS, THE DIVINE SON OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, TRANSFORM EVERY TRACES OF HOPELESSNESS, SADNESS AND SINFULNESS IN YOUR LIFE INTO JOY AND HAPPINESS. AMEN.
● MAY YOU EXPERIENCE PEACE IN YOUR FAMILY THIS NEW YEAR. AMEN.
● MAY THE JOY OF THE NEW YEAR ILLUMINE YOUR SITUATIONS WITH RESTORATIONS AND DIVINE TURNAROUNDS. AMEN.
● MAY YOU EXPERIENCE BREAK THROUGH IN YOUR FINANCES, VOCATIONS, PROFESSIONS, CAREERS AND BUSINESSES. AMEN.
● MAY YOU BE COUNTED AMONG THE REMNANTS THAT WILL NEVER BE FOUND MISSING IN THIS YEAR 2021.
*GO YE AND CONQUER THE YEAR 2021. YOU ARE A CHAMPION.*
*HAPPY NEW YEAR*
FR GERALD MUOKA.