Dear Fellow Parishioners,
What better way to celebrate the New Year 2022 than to remind ourselves of why we are celebrating the New Year as we celebrate the Solemnity of “Mary, Mother of God!” This solemnity, along with celebrating the New Year, reminds us of the greatest event that has ever taken place on the face of the earth; we contemplate the Holy Scripture that tells us that Mary conceived and gave birth to Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit.
We know that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ and, consequently, the Mother of God. But she is also the Mother of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. And because of this role, the Blessed Virgin Mary is totally inseparable from the mission of the Church.
Jesus gave us his Mother so that she would be the Mother of all humanity. After having considered the role of the Virgin Mary in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit, we should think about her role in the mystery of the Church. I also want to state clearly that the role of Mary, as Mother of all humanity, in no way eclipses or diminishes the divinity of Christ. On the contrary, her role only helps to clarify Christ’s divine role and brings us ever closer to him.
It is also important to remember that the human race could only be saved by the sacrifice that Jesus suffered in his own flesh. And it is through the miraculous conception and birth of Jesus that God wished to underline, at the same time, the divinity and the humanity of his Son. The Maternity of the Virgin Mary is, therefore, an occurrence that shows forth and backs up the miraculous redemption of humanity.
After the Shepherds had made known to Mary and Joseph the message that had been told to them about the Child, “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” In very few words this verse tells us a great deal about Mary. We see the serenity with which she contemplates the wonderful things that are coming true with the birth of her divine son. She studies them, ponders them, and stores them in the silence of her heart. She is a true teacher of prayer.
If we imitate her, if we guard and ponder in our hearts what Jesus says to us and what he does in us, we are well on the way to Christian holiness and we shall never lack his doctrine and his grace. Also, by meditating in this way on the teaching Jesus has given us, we shall obtain a deeper understanding of the mystery of Christ.
As we plan to kick off the New Year, many will be making New Year resolutions, which are meant to make us better persons. So, let’s make sure that our New Year resolutions are rooted in faith, to help us grow in our trust and confidence in God, as well as to discover our God-given mission and purpose in life. The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, is always ready to help us and intercede for us before her Son, and as a loving mother, wants nothing but the best for us. May the Blessed Virgin Mary’s inspiring words to St. Juan Diego be her words to us:
“Hear and let it penetrate into your heart, my dear little child: let nothing discourage you, let nothing depress you, let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Do not fear any illness, or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your foundation of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?”
May God’s blessings be upon you during the Christmas Season and throughout the New Year.
Christmas and New Year blessings,
Fr. John Poncini