REFLECTION FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD & OF THE CHURCH, Week beginning 1ST JANUARY 2023
It is surely so very apt that this PRIMARY day of 2023 be dedicated unto the patronage of Mary, Mother of the Church – for she is the PRIMARY person to ever have been born out of the human race – the only one never to have incurred upon her soul the mark of Original Sin passed down from Adam & Eve. First and foremost, she is Mother of God. We continue this day to celebrate the Bethlehem manger. In terms of Liturgy, the Christmas season will conclude next Sunday, with the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord – the event that signalled His 3 years of public ministry. Jesus designated the Church as His Bride. Members of His Church are therefore disciples (brothers & sisters) of Him, the Bridegroom. Thus Mary, Mother of God, is automatically Mother of the Church too. As we are all only too aware, we enter the New Year with an ever-growing cost-of-living crisis, and the ongoing war in Ukraine. This January 1st, let us personally consecrate ourselves and our families to Mary our Mother – not just for this day, as a “one-off”. Rather let us commit to a daily recitation of the Holy Rosary – the prayer which she has specifically requested – additionally, let us offer it for world peace, especially regarding Ukraine. Mary, together with Joseph, raised Jesus in the family home at Nazareth. Let us daily commend to her our family homes in these harsh economic times. Mary was the tutor of the young Jesus in the Jewish Scriptures. Joseph trained Him in the skills of carpentry and quite possibly in the working of stone too. Let us commend to her the studies of our young family members in 2023. At the same time, let us commend to St. Joseph any employment concerns within our families (for, as we know, we enter the New Year to a backdrop of multiple strikes). These issues outlined above are temporal concerns. We must not forget the spiritual. For 2023, may we determine to become closer to God’s Word, speaking to us in Sacred Scripture. Let us make time for it to profoundly speak to us.
Then, like Mary, we can store it in our hearts.