Monday, January 02, 2006
Mary, Mother of God
January 1 celebrates the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Now this title makes many Christians uncomfortable, including some Catholics. This was also true in 5th century, as Dr. Marcelino D'Ambrosio relates in this piece at Catholic Exchange. But as the article explains, objection to this title reveals a deep inconsistency: to say that Mary is mother of the human nature only is to say that Christ did not have full humanity as well as divinity. Such a thought gives the false notion that Christ had two incompatible natures, when the whole premise of the Incarnation is the compatibility of God and man, revealed in God become man in Christ's Incarnation, as well as in man become divine in our redemption. When we call Mary the Mother of God, it is true that we are rather proud of Mary's role, but not because of some mistaken notion of superiority, but because of what we know about her blessedness, and in her blessedness, ours. She stands as the archetypical Christian faithful, blessed to hear of the gospel's invitation, blssed to accept in humility by the grace of faith, and blessed to bear within us the fulfillment of God's promises to those who hear and believe. In the second reading, St. Paul assures us that we are adopted sons and heirs. This is not presumption. It is Christ who assures us of this. Neither is the title, "Mother of God" a presumption, because this is also assured by Christ, who chose to be born of this particular woman, whom the Scriptures refer to as his mother, whom Christ assures us is blessed for hearing and observing the word of God, whom the Holy Spirit, speaking through St. Elizabeth, asserts is mother of the Lord, and is blessed for believing in the promises of God. January 1 is the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Let us celebrate, for in his great love and mercy, God was willing to come down and share our humanity, to be one of us, born of woman, to live, suffer and die as man, so that man could be one with him. Alleluia!