Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, Luke 2:16-21
World Day of Peace, January 1, 2017
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
EXTERNALLY, Mary looked like all other girls in the village: fresh and pretty, modest and kind, respectful of the elders and devout in her prayers. Her activities were in no way different from those of the other young ladies of Nazareth: going to fetch water early in the morning, kneading the flour and baking the bread, knitting, mending the clothes, preparing the meals, cleaning the house . . . . No extraordinary phenomena that might attract the attention of the crowds. No bright haloes around her head, no miraculous cures, no trances . . . .
And yet, her presence, her demeanor, the simple mention of her name—Miriam (or “Mary,” as we call her), was enough to arouse in all a feeling of instinctive admiration. There was “something” in that girl which made her “different” and lovable, even though no one was able to say what that “something” was. Everybody at Nazareth was in love with Miriam. And Joseph, her fiancé, far from being jealous, was proud of it . . . .
God was in love with Mary, too. And more than everybody else! Never, since the creation of mankind, had a human being pleased Him as Mary was doing. Perfect in all her faculties and unstained by even the slightest form of sin, she kept herself open to Him as a flower keeps itself open to the light, enjoying its radiance and recreating in pleasant shapes the splendor of its colors.
God the Father loved her so much that He wanted His only Son to be also her Son. And so Mary, the simple village girl from Nazareth, became the closest “relative” of God – the very mother of His Son!
Our poor human mind feels lost when we try to fathom the richness of this unique relationship. Somehow, we find ourselves more at home when we think of Mary as “the Mother of Jesus.” In the end, it is one and the same reality, for Jesus is not only man but also God, the incarnate Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Hence, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, can rightly be called “the Mother of God.”
She can also be called “the Mother of Peace,” for Christ is our peace (see Eph 2:14), indeed, the “King of Peace.” Before being a situation which we all are eager to enjoy, peace is a person: our Savior Jesus. It is by being “peace” and reconciliation between God and mankind, that he brings peace to all people of goodwill, to his own Mother before everybody else.
Mary is “Mother of Peace” because she has been the first to enjoy to the full the “peace” that Jesus is and brings. She is “Mother of Peace” because she shares this gift with us all. She does that generously, joyously, as a mother shares with her children the best things she can find for them.
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