On 1st January, the Church keeps the solemnity of the Dogma of Mary- the Mother of God and also begins the New Year with the blessings of Mother Mary, who gave birth to the Son of God, which we celebrated on 25th December.
This dogma of Mary- Mother of God, was proclaimed by the Council of Ephesus in 431. Mary is called “Mother of God” which translates the more accurately stated Greek term “Theotokos” or “Birth giver of God or God Bearer.” In order to understand how Mary becomes the Mother of God, we need to know that in Christ there are two natures, one divine and one human, but only one person. His eternal divine nature was united perfectly to the human flesh offered from Mary’s own human flesh. The heresy Nestorianism teaches that Mary was the mother only of the ‘human Jesus’ and not the ‘divine Jesus.’ On the contrary, the Catholic Church teaches that Christ is one person with two natures: divine nature and human nature. Hence Mary is the mother of the Divine Person who is the Son of God. Logically, she is the Mother of He who is God the Son. She is the Mother of God, though not the Mother of the divine essence of the Trinity.
Indeed, according to the Council the Holy Virgin Mary is the Mother of God since she begot according to the flesh the Word of God made flesh. This decision was further explained by the Council of Chalcedon (451) which says with regard to Mary’s divine motherhood, “begotten from the Father before the ages as regards his godhead, and in the last days, the same, because of us and because of our salvation begotten from the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, as regards his manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten…”
Mary is truly the Mother of God, since she gave birth to the Second Person of the Trinity who became man for our sake. The Church reminds each one of us that we all have a call for holiness like Mary. We need to take Mary our mother as our role model and that’s why the Church begins the New Year with the blessings and grace of Mother Mary. Let us surrender this New Year and our life in the hands of Mother Mary, the Mother of God.
Happy feast of the solemnity of Mary- the Mother of God and a grace filled New Year 2021.
-Fr. Leslie Gomes