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Reflection on the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, and World Day of Peace, January 1st.

The third goal of the Marianist Family Encounters Project (MFEP) is to Listen and Educate in Faith, and the first goal is to Promote Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation. What better way to begin the year 2024 than by honoring Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, the God of Peace!



Introduction 

Today, January 1st, we celebrate the feast of Mary, Mother of God and our Mother who brings us Christ, our salvation. This feast is the oldest Marian feast of the Church of Rome. It commemorates Mary's calling to be the Mother of Jesus Christ. Mary as the Mother of God was first defined at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., but the concept was considered much older. Today, we also celebrate the World Day of Peace.


Prayer                                        

Lord Our God, you sent your Son from heaven into the womb of the Blessed Virgin to be your saving word and our bread of life. Grant that, like Mary, we may welcome Christ by treasuring his words in our hearts and celebrating in faith the deep mysteries of our redemption. On this feast of Mary, Mother of God, and the World Day of Peace (January 01), we pray for all the places in the world that are being ravaged by wars and conflicts, especially the Holy Land, Ukraine, and African countries such as Sudan, Burkina Faso, Congo, Nigeria, and other countries. We pray for your peace, grace, and mercy to spread throughout these lands.

We lift our prayer to you, our Gracious God.

May the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen.


Scripture Reading                                                                              Luke 2: 16-20, RSCVE

And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


Silent Introspection                         



Reflect on the following text from the writings of Father Chaminade on Mary’s divine Motherhood.


Father Chaminade writes:

This, then is Mary, the Mother of God! In her presence let every knee bend in heaven, on earth, and in the depths of the abyss. “How rich are the depths of God – how deep his wisdom. . .!” (Rm 11:33), we may say with the Apostle; the Eternal One takes birth in the bosom of a woman, so that, owing to her his life, he likewise owes to her all respect and obedience. A creature conceives her Creator, and as it is from her substance alone that the body of Jesus is formed by the Holy Spirit, she unites in her own person and exercises the rights and duties of both father and mother towards her Son.


Mary, the Mother of God! Heaven is in her chaste bosom, the Divinity dwells there corporally, veiled, though not destroyed… When Jesus sees the light of the day, how admirable it will be to see him dependent on Mary and subject to her authority like an ordinary child conceived in sorrow and sin. Then the Son of God will allow himself to be cared for, nurtured, clothed, and reared by a creature, who will fulfill toward him all the duties of a mother. Helpless to care for himself and his needs, the Eternal Word becomes a little child, will rest in Mary’s lap and on her heart, will be fed at her breast, will beg her tender caresses, and stand at her feet ready to do what she says.


Thought for Contemplation



Meditating on the feast of Mary, Mother of God, let us recall some instances wherein we have been led, like Mary, to ponder and treasure things in our hearts and give our assent to God’s calling to bring Christ to others.

 


Would you like to use the above-mentioned reflection in your community? Click here to download the pdf.



Sources: "Mary, Mother of God" All About Mary, udayton.edu; Prayers adapted from the Liturgical Mass of Mary, Mother of God; Scripture Reading from the Gospel of Luke, RSVCE; Marian Writings, Vol 2, 460-461, William Joseph Chaminade

 

Reflection prepared by Hazel Franco


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Dear Hazel, thanks for preparing the reflection on Mary. It helped me!

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