Last updated on January 2, 2021
Safe in Mary’s arms is the best way to start the new year. The Church provides the means to get there through The Solemnity of Mary, The Mother of God.
Through the Advent and Christmas season readings, we’ve been given a great chance to reflect on what she went through to bring Christ to us.
Mary’s visit to see her cousin Elizabeth shines with joy because of God choosing her to bear his only begotten Son.
With Elizabeth, the Magnificat sprang with joy and peace from Mary’s heart. But she also knew what it’s like to be troubled and frightened in the same way all mothers do.
In giving her whole life to the care of her treasured child, conceived, not by her husband Joseph, but by the Holy Spirit, she pondered this unfolding mystery deeply in the daily demands of Nazareth.
From the joy of our Saviour’s birth in Bethlehem to the Feast of the Holy Family, we’ve followed the extraordinary trials she and Joseph experienced.
Simeon’s praise in the Temple for Jesus, Mary’s beloved infant, caused her and Joseph to be “amazed at the things said of him.”
Simeon also told Mary that because of the opposition her Son would face, “a sword will pierce your soul.
Gabriel told her, “Do Not be Afraid.”
Because of their unwavering trust in God, Mary and Joseph received the courage, strength and peace to carry out God’s will of bringing a Saviour to us amid the surrounding turmoil.
Has any mother and father, united in the joy of bringing a son or daughter into their loving home, with great hope and promise, escaped trial and misfortune beyond their strength?
Only through prayer together and eyes fixed on the One who brought them together will husband and wife discover that their earthly home is not the secure dwelling for which they long.
The Mother of God will teach us how to make our home in Jesus, our secure home with two rooms within which we find refuge, strength and consolation. One is her Immaculate Heart, the other the Body and Blood of her Son in the Eucharist.
In my experience of crushing misfortune through separation, divorce, and the departure of each of my seven children from the Eucharist, I’ve heard the Mother of God tell me as my tear reservoir drained, “Do Not Be afraid, they’re in my care.”
Through clinging to Christ and His Mother and making my home with them, my heart has grown to love my children and ex-wife more than I could have imagined, though we never returned to live together.
When our earthly home begins to crumble, and we lose what’s precious to us, whether our dwelling, our work, our body, or even our children who must eventually leave according to God’s holy order, Christ remains close to us, present to those who cling to Him.
In accepting all that happens to us, permitting him to take hold of us, he will enter our hearts. He will also send His Mother, our Mother, to console our tears. She doesn’t only come in the apparition events.
Mysteriously, we will discover that nothing good is lost, and we will love and smile. Joy will fill our being. That is the truth and mystery of a Saviour born for us and the reason January 1st is given to the Mother of God who, through her yes, gave to us her beloved Jesus, Our Saviour.
Pope John Paul II:
Out of loving concern for others, she brings all mankind’s needs within the radius of Christ’s saving power.
(Homily, Shrine of Our Lady Ta Pinu, Malta, May 26, 1990)