Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Remember, today is the 8th day of Christmas!
Did you make those New Year's resolutions yet or should I ask did you break one already? We all know the drill, New Year's resolutions made and New Year's resolutions broken. Simple truth is that every day we can resolve to be better or do better.
In our neck of the woods, many of us will eat black eyed peas and cabbage today, along with a little pork. This is supposed to bring us all good luck, good health and a liitle bit of wealth. My family has been doing this for years; I figure sooner or later that wealth part will happen!
One thing I have learned as I grow older is that trusting totally in God, year in and year out, is good enough for me. As people of faith, do we trust in God? Will we dedicate 2011 to totally trusting in Him? And where can we turn for an example of how to surrender totally to God? We can turn to Mary, whose feast we celebrate today as Mother of God.
This feast day developed in the earliest years of the Church and not without great controversy. Did Mary give birth to only the human nature of Jesus, or to the entire Jesus? The idea that Jesus would have two natures became a great heresy in the early Church. Following the example of the Apostles, Church fathers gathered in a council at Ephesus in 431 and declared that Jesus did not have two natures; he is completely human and completly divine. Jesus is indeed God in the second person of the Trinity. Therefore Mary was not Christokos, Christ bearer only but Theotokos, God bearer.
If we really think about it, this feast and this title for Mary, mother of God, is so much more about Jesus than Mary. And how appropriate as Mary has always, always pointed us and directed us to her Son.
In the Gospel we read today we are reminded of the role Mary played in truly being "mother" to her Son, her Savior and her God. She pondered and reflected on all these things even as she presented Him for his circumcision and declared his name, Jesus, the Emmanuel which means God with us! And in Jesus, God is with us!!
Can we follow Mary's example and trust in God's plan for each of us? Can we resolve in the year ahead to trust more fully in God, to grow closer to Jesus, to be Jesus to those most in need and like Mary, point others to Jesus? This should be our real challenge for the New Year; these things can be our resolutions!
If you eat some black eyed peas and cabbage today, enjoy your meal. But if your looking for a fulfilling life, good health and blessings, pray to God today and thank Him for the gift of His Son, Jesus, fully human and fully divine and for the example of Mary, who boldly proclaimed YES and became the mother of God!
Merry 8th day of Christmas and Happy New Year!
Pause for Prayer: THURSDAY 5/23
16 hours ago