Homily – Fr. James Conner – January 1 – Mary, Mother of God -‘21

January 1 – Mary, Mother of God -‘21

Today we begin a New Year, leaving behind us all that transpired in the past years, and heading into the new life which God in His Love and Mercy bestows upon us, as a mark of the extent to which truly His Face does shine upon us! And as proof of His shining upon us He gives us His own Mother to be our Mother.

“Woman, behold your son. Son behold your Mother”. In these simple words, Jesus bestows upon us His Mother to be our Mother. She is Mother of God in as much as she has given her own human nature to the very God Who created it. But she is equally our Mother in as much as she gives to us that divine nature which she possessed from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. And it is in sharing in that divine nature that we truly become sons and daughters of God and can address the very God as “Our Father”.

It is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that Mary became the Mother of God; and it is through the same gift of the same Holy Spirit that we become sons and daughters of God. In this, the original plan of God at creation is fulfilled: “Let us make man and woman in our own image and likeness.”

And Mary is our Mother because it is through her that we receive that Holy Spirit – the same Holy Spirit Who came upon Mary, making her to be truly the Mother of God.

It is because of this that our Father St Bernard can remind us that no matter what trials or temptations may afflict us in life, we need only to “Look to the Star. Call upon Mary” It is in simply calling upon Mary that we are assured of receiving an ever-greater share in that divine life which she brought into this world and which she bestows upon each one of us. It is this which makes her to be truly “Our Mother”. Even if we may have never known our earthly mother, yet we are assured of fully knowing our heavenly Mother who is constantly interceding for us and by that fact constantly bestowing upon us an ever-greater share in that divine life which she received in her fleshly Son, Jesus Christ.

Mary received that Holy Spirit by constantly reflecting on the Word of God – both that found in the Scriptures and that which she heard from the angel. We also are to grow in that same divine life by similarly reflecting on that same Word of God which comes to us through the Scriptures, through our spiritual reading and through our prayer – simply being attentive to that Word of God present and
speaking within our heart. That is the ever-new infusion of divine life within our being, a life which she watches over and nourishes by her own attentiveness to what the Spirit is doing not only within herself, but within each one of us, her children.

It is she who, as our own Mother and as Mother of God, is the first to bestow on each one of us that same blessing which God gave as His special blessing on each one of us as we begin his New Year:
“The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine
upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance
upon you and give you peace”.

He gives us that peace as we receive the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in these Mysteries today and each day. And in receiving that Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, we also share in that immaculate nature of Mary, our Mother and the Mother of God.