The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God
Readings: Numbers 6:22–27; Psalm 66(67):2–3, 5, 6, 8; Galatians 4:4–7; Luke 2:16–21
1 January 2021
“God sent his Son, born of a woman.” Galatians 4:4
One of the oldest celebrated in the Church’s liturgical calendar, today’s feast of Mary, Mother of God is also one of its most important. The Greek Fathers honoured Our Lady as the God-Bearer, and at the Council of Ephesus in A.D. 431, the Church dogmatically defined the title of Mary as the Theotokos: “Mother of God”. It is Our Lady’s greatest title, and from it flows all Marian devotion and spirituality.
At Christmas, we knelt in humble adoration of the Christ-Child, the only Saviour of the world. Today, we venerate with deep reverence, profound devotion and filial love, Blessed Mary, Virgin and Mother, through whom was born the Saviour. Through her unique and grace-filled role of participating and assisting in the redemption of Christ, we rightly pray to her as our most powerful intercessor with Jesus Christ, born of her immaculate womb by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And, because she is also our mother, given to us by Jesus from the cross, “Behold your mother,” we can do this with the greatest confidence, since as St Francis de Sales said: “Say not that you ought not to assist me, since you are the mother of all the poor children of Adam. Since then, merciful Virgin, you are my mother, what excuse can you offer if you do not lend me your assistance?” Even more than our earthly mother, Our Lady seeks only our good and our eternal salvation. How foolish we would be not to seek her maternal help in our life.
Mother of God and my mother, I confidently come before you and place my life totally in your hands. Today I consecrate myself to you and ask that you guide, protect and intercede for me with Jesus. Speak my name to him often, and at the hour of my death, lead me into his Presence with you by my side. Amen.
Fr Christopher G Sarkis
Fr Christopher G Sarkis is the parish priest at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Rosemeadow, NSW. He was ordained in 1985 and has served in a number of parishes in the Diocese of Wollongong including the Cathedral, Campbelltown and Rosemeadow. His recent diocesan appointments include member of the College of Consultors, Council of Priests, Diocesan Finance Council and Diocesan Property Committee.
In March 2019, Fr Christopher and the parishioners of Rosemeadow opened the doors on their new parish church that is fast becoming a pilgrimage site for Catholics. He recently published a 136-page hardcover book titled Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church: A Walk Through, which combines stunning photography of the church and its art, accompanied by a beautiful treatise written by Fr Christopher on the theological and artistic vision behind the church. You can purchase the book at www.olhcrosemeadow.org.au