Posted on January 12, 2023 View all Gospel Reflection
Psalm 90:12 says, “Lord, teach us to number our days, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”
There should not be a New Year’s Day that goes by that we don’t remind ourselves of that truth one way or another.
Speaking of numbering our days:
Last night, one guy was really counting down the time for the New Year. He remarked last night just before midnight, “I hate freeloaders who join in the New Year’s Eve countdown for the last ten seconds. I’ve been doing this all year. Where were you back in May?”
To illustrate this perspective numbering our days that we may gain wisdom of heart, author Calvin Miller tells about visiting with an old parishioner. The man was near death. “Do you think you will die, Ralph?” Miller asked this sick old patriarch, rather bluntly.
“Yes, replied the old man, “but more important than that,” the old man said, “I think you will die too.”
This remark stunned Calvin Miller: He was twenty years old, and the old man was ninety.
“As a matter of fact,” the old man said, “I’m pretty convinced that everybody who is living is going to die—some sooner, some later. And the only people who will really matter, when the dying is done with, are those who were good stewards of the time they have lived.”
Consider the blessing in our First Reading today from the Book of Numbers 6:22-27: The first and last words in the blessing or benediction are the actual word “blessing”: The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them. Then we have the actual prayer of blessing, and it ends with “So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
A Blessing to begin the year, and a blessing to end it.
Numbering our days that we may gain wisdom of heart as in the Hail Mary prayer: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”
Mary, the Mother of God is what we celebrate today.
Genealogy-wise, Jesus gets his line of David from Joseph, but he got all his genetic material from Mary.
An early heresy claimed that Mary was only a mother of the human part of Jesus, so the title Theotokos was adopted for Mary which is Greek for God-bearer or Mater Dei in Latin for Mother of God.
Since Mary is Jesus’ mother, the fact that she is also the Mother of God is inescapable, for if Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. There is no way out of this logical syllogism.
Consider what Protestant scholar, David S. Yeago posits when he states that the exclusion of Mary from the Protestant consciousness constitutes a “Christological disease.” He means that if one is not clear that Mary is the mother of God, then one is not clear who Jesus Christ is as true God and true Man.
Vatican II, in the third session of the Council, proclaimed Mary to be “Mother of the Church.”
Mary surrendered to God’s plan, and surrender is a paradox because surrender is as:
“at once a yielding and a conquest,
weakness and power,
annihilation and creativity,
anonymity and openness,
captivity and freedom,
death and life.”
[see The Virgin Mary as “Eternal Woman” written by Ann Astell].
A prayer for children by parents, “Holy Mary, Celestial Queen, with this rosary I bind my children to your Immaculate Heart.