Adult Faith Formation Column for the Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish, Livermore, California

This weekly column is a short meditation on the Bible readings of the Sunday Mass. The meditations are direct quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, writings of the Saints, and similar orthodox sources.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sunday 1 January 2012, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Hail Mary, Mother of God!

    Mary's motherhood ... is like a final message from the
Octave of the Nativity of the Lord.

    Birth always speaks of the Mother, of Her who gives
life.... The first day of the New Year is the day of the Mother.
There is no image ... of the mystery of the birth of the Lord
simpler than the image of the Mother with Jesus in her arms.

    Is not this image the source of our singular confidence?

    But there is another image of the Mother with the Son in
her arms:  the "Pieta," Mary holding Jesus taken down from the
cross.  With Jesus, who expired before her eyes ... and, after
death, He returned to those arms in which at Bethlehem He was
offered as Savior of the world.

    I would therefore join our prayer for peace with this twofold
image:  "Mother, you who know what it is to hold the corpse of
Your son in your arms, ... spare all mothers the death of their sons,
torments, slavery, the destructions of war, persecutions, concentration
camps, prisons!  Preserve the joy of birth to them, of nourishment,
of development of man and of his life.

    In the name ... of the birth of the Lord, implore peace together
with us, with all the beauty and majesty of Your motherhood, which
the Church exalts and the world admires.  We beg you:  be with us
at every moment!  Make this New Year a year of peace by virtue of
the birth and death of Your Son!  Amen.

                        -- Blessed John Paul II
                            1 January 1979

                The Lord bless you and keep you!

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