Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today is a day of many blessings, a holy day, when we celebrate once again the important role that the Blessed Virgin Mary had on the plan of salvation of the world.today we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Peace, but even more importantly for our faith, we celebrate today the Feast of the Theotokos, that is Mary as the Mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ.
Theotokos is the term in the Greek language, given since the earliest times of the Church to honour Mary, meaning the ‘Mother of God’. The Church and the faithful had, since the very beginning recognise the special role that Mary played in our salvation. Mary is a lowly and humble woman, but one who was destined to bear the Saviour of the world, Jesus Christ, who is none other than God Himself incarnate into man, to be one of us.
Therefore, to believe in the mother of the Divine, Mary, as the mother of God in Jesus, is to believe in the divinity of Christ Himself. Both of these beliefs are completely inseparable in nature. Christ is God just as He is man, He is the Son of God just as He is the Son of Man. We cannot believe in that Jesus is God if we do not believe that Mary is the mother of God.
Of course, in her motherhood of Jesus, this does not make her divine in herself, nor does this make her a goddess, as some enemies of the faithful and the false prophets have proclaimed. As the mother of God, Mary was made preeminent before all the other creations, over all mankind, save her own Son, Jesus, who is God and who existed before all ages, while Mary was created just as any other men and women.
Yet without Mary and her acceptance of the role which she had been given, we would not have Christ in our midst. Even though Jesus is Lord our God and was conceived wholly by the power of the Holy Spirit without human intervention, it was in the womb of Mary that the Saviour gestated for nine months before His entry into the world. It is through womb of Mary that the Saviour was born into the world.
That is the truth about our faith, that Jesus was born into this world as one of us, through Mary His mother, because through her womb, He was born. Many people over time would try to attack this fundamental part of our faith but they did not succeed. They would either attack the divinity of her Son, denying it and claiming that He was merely human and not divine, or by separating the humanity of Jesus from His divinity, and thus claiming that Mary was merely the mother of Jesus the Man and not the Mother of God.
No, brothers and sisters in Christ, we cannot fall into the same erroneous thinking as what was espoused by these people. We cannot deny the motherhood of Mary, who birthed the Lord and Saviour as the Mother of God, not that she is a goddess, just as we cannot separate the humanity of Jesus from His divinity. Jesus our Lord is fully and perfectly human just as at the same time He is also perfectly divine.
Many seemed to think in the erroneous ways because they were misinformed about the faith or misunderstood its true meaning. They failed to understand that in honouring Mary as the mother of God, we do not idolise or make a goddess out of her. We do not idolise or worship Mary, but instead honour her greatly as the blessed one among us, for having been the one chosen to bear the Saviour as He entered this world as a baby.
Mary is our role model, because she is truly obedient to God and she walked righteously in God’s way, without succumbing to the wickedness of the world. She is a person of love, peace, and faith. And that is why we glorify and honour her, as the greatest one among all those that God had created. God made her the first among all of us, so that we too may follow her example and be ever closer to her Son, Jesus.
Today we also celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Peace, which fits perfectly with today’s celebration on Mary as the Mother of God. Our world has forgotten peace and the values of peace, because mankind has given themselves up to the corrupting nature of the world. The world is filled with good things, but unbridled, they also feed our human weaknesses of greed and jealousy. Many of the wars in the past and even present, as well as the conflicts of the future will be fought because of mankind’s greed.
People fought over resources and material goods, and even siblings fought one another for their parents’ properties, often before even the latter’s departure from this world. Mankind always have their wants, and frequently they alwaiys desire more and more, and this is fueled by the world and the evil inside it. Mankind find it hard to satisfy their needs and therefore disregard the love they should show one another, and instead fight for their own benefits.
Wars, conflicts, and fightings are abhorrence of nature, because the devil has planted in us the seeds of division, pitting one man against another. We kill each other because hatred and greed has taken over our heart. We often allow the ways of this world to take us over, rather than to listen to the will of God, which exhorts us to seek peace and to love one another.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, even as we celebrate the coming of this new year of our Lord 2014, we should not forget that in the midst of all the celebrations and rejoicing, we should also seek for the peace and love in this world, that as we all pray for peace, we too lead the way for peace through our own actions, that we truly represent peace, love and harmony in all of our actions, our deeds, and our words.
May this day, the World Day of Prayer for Peace, then be a day where we all as one humanity, may reach out ever closer towards peace, following the examples of our role model in faith, Mary, the Mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, in her obedience to God, and her faithfulness in Him, showing it through her loving actions, that we too ought to follow. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners. Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.