Pastor’s Corner for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, by Rev. Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ
New Year’s is a day of new beginnings, goals, celebrations, and reflections. And it’s also one of the most special days in the Church – the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. One week after we celebrate the birth of Christ, we give thanks to His mother. This solemnity is also the final day in the Octave of Christmas and the World Day of Peace. On this Solemnity we celebrate Mary’s motherhood to Jesus Christ, whom she had circumcised on the 8th day, according to the Levitical Law.
Throughout history, there have been many movements to establish a feast honoring Mary as the Mother of God and Mother of the Church. However, this solemnity only became an official one in the 20th century. On February 2, 1974, Pope Paul VI encouraged the restoration of the Solemnity of Mary, the holy Mother of God, in his apostolic exhortation Marialis Cultus. The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, is a holy day of obligation. The Church encourages all Catholics, who are able, to attend Mass on this Solemnity.
Today’s Solemnity, like all the Feasts of Mary, ‘Mother of God’ is an honour the Church bestows on her. But it is more than that. It is also the reality of the Annunciation and of that moment when, little more than a child, she said her “Yes” to God. She did not know what would happen in the future, she did not even know what was happening to her, but in trust and humility she said “Yes.” That was the start of her journey, and a short time later, her ‘Yes’ was joined with Joseph’s ‘Yes’. It brought them, after nine months, to Bethlehem and to the birth of their son, Jesus and together a Holy family was formed.
Mary’s story is our story. Joseph’s story is our story. The child she brought into the world is still in the world. As we begin the new year, let us remember that Christmas story, Mary’s story is not a story of the past, but of the present. Let us remember that the joy and hope of Christmas did not happen; it is happening, today and every day, and will happen until the end of time.
Let us carry that ‘Hope’ into 2023, because we can, and we must. As we begin the new year through the intercession of the Blessed virgin Mary, let us pray for our families and ask God for protection and blessings, and eternal rest to those who have gone before us.
I hope this new year will bring all of us opportunities to improve ourselves and help us doing better in all our affairs. Happy New Year.
As we celebrate the New year let us remember to pray for the sick in our parish especially Elizabeth Mooi, Gloria Malunga and Malefu Mkhambi.
Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ