Saturday, December 24, 2005


It is sometimes argued that the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, celebrated on January 1, should not be a Holy Day of Obligation. The claim is that, since January 1 marks the New Year, it is more of a civil feast than a religious one. Thus, it should be abolished as a Holy Day.

This type of thought is contrary to the Church’s tradition. The Church has always made the first day of the calendar year a Holy Day of Obligation. She does this in order to counter the godless activities that accompany New Year festivities. The world celebrates the New Year with drinking parties and the pursuit of pleasure. Holy Church, however, reminds us that the followers of Our Lord cannot be part of this kind of activity. Our Divine Lord taught us that we are in the world but we are not of the world.

"Set your minds on the things that are above, not the things that are of the earth," Saint Paul said in Colossians 3:2. To do this, Catholics must begin the New Year by flying to the protection of the Mother of God. Under her mantle, we are able to shun the world’s evil.

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us," Saint John tells us. God, the Father, in His infinite love for man, sent His Son to be our Savior. The Son took on human flesh and was born of the Virgin Mary.

It is defined article of Catholic faith that Our Lady must be given the title, Mother of God! In fact, Mother of God is her most appropriate title. Jesus Christ is True God and True Man. He has a divine nature and a human nature. Our Blessed Lord shared His Divine Nature with the Father and the Holy Spirit from all eternity. His human nature, however, was taken from Our Lady.

Our Savior’s human nature was not suspended in space. It was united to His Divine Person. Jesus Christ is one divine Person. Consequently, we must address Mary as the Mother of God. She is the Theotokos, which is the Greek word for, the God Bearer. In her wisdom, holy mother Church begins the New Year with this Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Thus, we Catholics live the year under her protection.

In today’s Gospel, Saint Luke tells us: “Mary kept all these things in her heart.” My friends let us be assured that she keeps our parish in her heart. Indeed, she keeps all of us in her heart.

May we always keep our dear Blessed Mother in our hearts, as well. Never let one day go by without saying a special prayer to her, especially her holy Rosary. In the Rosary, she teaches us about her divine Son.

May all of you have a blessed and a happy New Year. May Almighty God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, bless you. May our dear Blessed Mother guide and protect you throughout the New Year and all the days of your lives.

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.


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