People may be surprised that the Church makes the first day of the New Year the feastday of Mary, Mother of God. Yet it is significative that from the 4th Century, the Church, after solemnly celebrating the birth of the Savior, wants to begin the new year under the maternal protection of Mary, Mother of the Savior and our Mother.
Today’s Christians must ask ourselves what we’ve done to Mary in recent years, since we’ve probably weakened our faith, eliminating her all too much from our lives.
Undoubtedly motivated by a sincere decision to purify our religious practices and to find a more solid faith, we’ve abandoned pious excesses, exaggerated devotions, and strange and superficial practices.
We’ve tried to overcome a false maryolatry in which perhaps we substituted Mary for Christ and we saw in her the salvation, forgiveness and redemption which in reality we should welcome from her Son.
If all has been to correct deviations and to place Mary in the true position that corresponds to her as Mother of Jesus Christ and Mother of the Church, we should rejoice and be reaffirmed in our stance.
But has it really been thus? Haven’t we forgotten her all too much? Haven’t we put her in a corner somewhere in a shadowy place in our soul next to things that seem to us to be useless?
Abandoning Mary without deepening her mission and the place she should occupy in our lives, will never enrich our Christian practice, but instead impoverish it. We probably have committed excesses of maryolatry in the past, but now we run the risk of impoverishing our lives with her almost complete absence.
Mary is the Mother of Christ. But the Christ who was born in her womb was destined to grow and to incorporate in himself a great number of brothers and sisters, men and women who would one day live out his Word and his grace. Today Mary isn’t just the Mother of Jesus. She is the Mother of the whole Christ. She is the Mother of all believers.
It’s good that as we begin a New Year we do it raising our eyes toward Mary. She will accompany us throughout these days with a mother’s care and tenderness. She will take care of our faith and our hope. We won’t forget her throughout this year.
Jose Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf