Many could wonder that the Church makes the first day of the new year coincide with the feast of Holy Mary, Mother of God. And yet it’s important that since the 4th century, the Church, having solemnly celebrated the birth of the Savior, wants to begin the new year under the maternal protection of Mary, Mother of the Savior and our Mother.
We Christians today need to ask what we’ve made of Mary these last years, since we’ve probably impoverished our faith by eliminating her from our lives without thinking.
Without a doubt we are motivated by a sincere desire to purify our religious sensibility and find a more solid faith, abandoning pious excesses, exaggerated devotions, superficial and wrongheaded customs. We’ve tried to overcome a false and idolatrous Mariology in which we at times substituted Mary for Christ, seeing in her our salvation, our forgiveness, our redemption – things which we really should welcome in her Son.
If it all had been to correct dead-ends and put Mary in the authentic place that corresponds to her as Mother of Jesus Christ and Mother of the Church, we would have to rejoice and reaffirm such a stance. But has it really been thus? Haven’t we forgotten too much? Haven’t we put her in an obscure corner of our soul along with other things that seem useless to us?
The abandonment of Mary, without going deeper into her mission and into the place she should occupy in our life, never enriches our Christian living, but impoverishes it. We’ve probably committed excesses of idolatrous Mariology in the past, but now we run the risk of impoverishing ourselves with her almost complete absence in our lives.
Mary is the Mother of Jesus. But the Christ who was born of her womb was destined to grow and incorporate many brothers and sisters, men and women who would one day live by his Word and his Spirit. Today Mary isn’t just the Mother of Jesus. She is the Mother of the whole Christ. She is Mother of all believers.
It’s good that, at the beginning of a new year, we would raise our eyes to Mary. She will accompany us through the coming days with a mother’s care and tenderness. She will care for our faith and our hope. We should not forget her all year long.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf