The octave day of the Birth of Jesus, the first day of the New Year, is dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God. The Holy Spirit came to fill her with his power. He elevated her motherhood to the highest level, so that Mary is in reality the mother of the Incarnate Word of God.
It is Mary who gave of her whole self to form the sacred humanity of him, who is “the image of the invisible God.” Mary gave him the body that he would one day offer in sacrifice to the Father for the salvation of the world. He took from her the body that he would give as food to sustain us on our struggle in the journey through this earthly life.
Jesus is both human like us, and divine, God far beyond us. Mary, as his mother, was very closely associated with Jesus. Her life was totally for her Son Jesus: Ad Jesum per Mariam.
The Gospel reading relates what the shepherds in the fields saw and heard from the angels on high. At the bidding of the angels, the shepherds rushed to pay homage to the Child in swaddling clothes in the manger. Mary kept all these things in her heart.
Following Jewish law and tradition the Child Jesus was circumcised and named Jesus on his eighth day.
To become one of us, God asked a young maiden for her cooperation in the divine plan. She said, “Yes,” and with that “Yes” Mary became the Mother of God. God’s greatest lesson for us remains ever the same: God so loves us that he chose to send his Son to be one of us – with a human mind and human knowledge, with human emotions and a human body.. And God’s greatest call to us is the same as to Mary – to say “yes” to God in our lives.
Mary is not the mother of Jesus only, who lived over 2,000 years ago. She is also our mother, of us who live today. From her place in heaven, she wants to help us with a mother’s help.
Mary is also our model. She is someone we can admire and imitate.
Consider her complete trust in God.
Mary believed the Angel’s word that she would bear a Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. She generously gave her Fiat to God’s invitation..
It is precisely in the area of trust in God that Mary can help us today.
Let us close with St.. Bernard’s prayer: “Remember, O most loving Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, we turn to you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To you we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, do not turn away from us, but in your mercy hear and answer us. Amen.”
God bless you, and a Happy New Year!