Solemnity of Mary Mother of God
January 1, 2015
MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT! MARY MATTERS.
Although we begin the New Year in the Philippines with a bang, we also begin it with a dose of essential dogma, all at the service of what really matters most, on the last day of Christmas Octave.
Make no mistake about it. This solemnity is not about ushering in a new civil year. Neither is it about making Christmas veer off tangent by introducing someone who sort of “steals the show” from Christ, the Lord, the one and only Savior, the one and only Redeemer, the one and only Son of God.
As a counselor myself, I am familiar with the concept of “reframing.” Basically, it means (among others) that when one wants to highlight the image, one also needs to consider the frame. A very good image set in an ugly frame would render the image less than the worth it deserves in the eyes of the beholder. Change the frame and one heightens the beauty and worth the image deserves.
The frame is not the image. The frame gives the image the centrality it deserves, and the frame’s function and role is considered essential to give the image the centrality and focus it should have.
Today, on the octave of Christmas, which is essentially a celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation, that is, when God’s Son took on flesh, we celebrate the central truth of the divine nature of Christ, Son of God. But we also celebrate the essential dogma that supports that central truth about Christ, which is the dogma of the Mother who rendered it possible for God to do what He did – effect the mystery of the Incarnation of His Son.
Make no mistake about it … Mary matters, but God remains the focus and center of all we celebrate in Church.
Make no mistake about it … Mary does not overshadow Christ, her Son, but on the contrary, heightens who He is, by God’s design – divine, yet human … one Person (the 2nd Person of the Trinity), with two natures!
Make no mistake about it … We Catholics do not worship Mary. Neither do we deify a fellow mortal. Dogmas of faith when proclaimed by the Church, historically speaking, always came in the context of attempts at denial of the central tenets of Christian, Catholic faith. And when the dogma of Mary’s Divine Maternity was proclaimed officially, it was precisely to counteract the spreading rumors (read: heresies!) that said Jesus was only human, not Divine. (Does this sound very familiar to my Filipino readers?)
Make no mistake about it. Mary matters. For Christ matters most. Mary is important and the dogma about her divine motherhood is essential, for the prime reason that Christ, God’s Son and hers, is central to our faith. I can think of no other hymn to represent this than this one that I liberally would like to quote:
Mary the root, Christ the Mystic Vine; Mary the grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the wheat, Christ the Living Bread; Mary the stem, Christ the Rose blood-red!
Mary the font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the cup, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the temple, Christ the temple’s Lord;
Mary the shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the mother, Christ the mother’s Son
By all things blest while endless ages run. Amen.
Make no mistake about it! Mary matters, if you consider Christ as center!