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Published: January 01 2013
Today we celebrate the Feast of Mary, Mother of God – Theotokos, in Greek. It is also the World Day of Peace.
Mary has been known in the Church as Mother of God since the third century. Her special honor survived the Nestorian heresy and was finally given the status of a special feast by Pope Paul VI in 1974, following Vatican II. The feast replaces the Feast of the Circumcision.
Our Gospel reading today highlights Mary, of course. It highlights also the shepherds whose openness to the unknown and whose eagerness to act upon the word of angels led them to the manger to see and meet Jesus and his mother Mary, Mother of God. Their "Let us go and see" was followed by their glorifying and praising God, just as Mary had done earlier in her Magnificat.
Mary, for her part, pondered and treasured all that had happened as she and Joseph welcomed their wonderful Emmanuel, "God with us." Her "yes" to Gabriel's message brought her through every phase of her divine Son's life - childhood, ministry, the Cross, Resurrection, Ascension and her role as mother-figure to the apostles. As Mother of God, she rejoiced even despite the "sword" predicted by Simeon, which would pierce her loving heart.
In this New Year, let us again take as our model Mary, Mother of God, who pondered, treasured and acted upon God's word.
Are there new ways in which I can "ponder" more carefully the voices by which God is calling me?
Do I have the faith, openness and courage to respond to God's signs in my own life?
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us in this New Year 2013. On this World Day of Peace, we pray for this gift in our lives and in our world!