This year we have an unusual weekend. January first is the Feast Day of Holy Mary, Mother of God, which is a Holy Day of Obligation. Sundays normally trump the feast days, but not this one. The Church, in her wisdom, discerned that this day is more important. Why? Is Mary more important?
Actually, this feast day came from the understanding of who Jesus is. Back in the three hundreds and four hundreds, after the legalization of Christianity, Christians debated about who Jesus is. Some said Jesus was merely a man and not God. Some said He was the greatest of all creation, but still a creature, not the creator. Others said He is God, but suffering and death could not befit God, so He did not really suffer on the cross as man. So they ended up denying the humanity of Jesus. The debate got even more heated than between the “Never Trump” and those who love Trump. People would even be exiled if they were in the wrong camp.
But in the year 431, the Church declared Jesus as both human and divine in nature by declaring Mary as the “Mother of God”, in Greek, Holy “Theotokos”. Mary being the Mother of Jesus, shares in the same nature as Jesus, Humanity. After all, human mothers do not give birth to elephants or toads. By nature, humans give birth to humans. So Mary, being a human as Jesus’ mother, defines Jesus as human. Yet, she is still the mother of God. So being God is still the nature of Jesus. Jesus was now defined as what is known to be the God-man. He has two natures. Jesus is everything that Humanity is, except sin, and He is everything that God is.
So this feast day was from the inspiration of this major declaration in 431. It was such a momentous occasion, people started rejoicing in the streets. Everything fell into place now. Jesus is our God who cared for us that He did in fact die on the cross for us for our salvation. He gave us His Father in Heaven, who is also God, and sends His Holy Spirit to live in us, who is also God. And since He gave us His Father, He certainly gave us His Mother, sharing His entire family. We are truly part of God’s family now.
How truly great it is to be included and finally belong to what we were created for!