Homily for Mass – Deschatelets Residence

1 January 2012 – 10.30am

[Readings: Num 6:22-27; Ps 67; Gal 4:4-7; Lk 2:16-21]

 

Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium says: The “maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into the happiness of their true home.”

Today, on the octave day of the feast of the Nativity of the Lord, the liturgy draws our devotion to the Mother of the Lord. Mary’s co-operation was an essential part of God’s saving plan: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman. We know that the definition of Mary as God-bearer, the Mother of God, corrected any error that hesitated to accept the fullness of the incarnation.  As we will affirm in the Creed, in Jesus Christ the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages … came down from heaven … and became man. Today’s solemnity is an important elaboration of the Feast of the Nativity: God didn’t hide in a human body;  God truly became human.  God the Son united himself with a human nature forever.  Humanity and divinity were so closely bound together in Jesus, son of Mary, that they could never be separated again.  [http://catholiclane.com/mary-mother-of-god/]

In the Gospel today we continue to linger at Bethlehem, and we see the Infant lying in the manger.  The Son of God, the Word become flesh, lies in the feeding trough of creatures – the Virgin Mother shows Him to the shepherds and those who come.  Various authors point out the Eucharistic theme here … not a manger, but on the altar the Son of God, the Word become flesh, will again lie before us.  As he gives himself to be our food, the bread of heaven, we feel the nearness of the Blessed Mother, who leads us to her Son.

As we begin a new calendar year today, may this great feast remind us that God is truly with us – He has bound himself to us in a bond that can never be broken.  Let us rejoice that we have a Mother who cares for us who are so often surrounded by dangers and difficulties as we try to follow the way of Her Son.

May we feel the love of the Mother of God today as we honour her, and may we daily feel the protection of her maternal intercession.

 

Hail, Queen of Heaven, beyond compare,

To whom the angels homage pay;

Hail, Root of Jesse, Gate of Light,

That opened for the world’s new Day.

Rejoice, O Virgin unsurpassed,

In whom our ransom was begun,

For all your loving children pray

To Christ, our Saviour, and your Son.