January 1st – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

As people around the world ring in the new year with parties, fireworks and perhaps a toast or two, we should not forget that there is something far more important to celebrate than the changing of the calendar year. January 1st is the Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God. The name Solemnity reminds us of the importance the Church puts upon this day. A solemnity is the highest rank of the liturgical celebrations. It is more important than a memorial, or even a feast day. It is a day set aside to remind us of the importance that Mary played in role of our salvation. Without her fiat…without her yes, God’s plan would not have been made possible.

We should not only be celebrating the new year which God is giving us, and all of the promises of a brighter future that are inspired in us, but we should celebrate the fact that Mary, the Mother of God is our mother as well. She is here to comfort each of us and help guide us on our daily path. She will intercede for us and seek out graces to shower upon us. She is an active Mother and loves each of us as She loved her Son. She never stopped saying yes to the Lord, and wishes only to help guide us to love Jesus more and more, so that imitating her, we might also give God our yes .This is not something made up, it has been handed down through the history and teachings of the Church:

“Mary, the all holy and ever virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time.” For the first time in the history of time, God had not only found a dwelling place, but He had prepared that dwelling place where His Son and His Spirit could dwell among men.” ( CCC 721)

So as the new year rings in and the fireworks fade, remember that this Solemnity is a holy day of obligation for most of us. And even if you are in an area where the obligation has been lifted, please spend some time in prayer contemplating this great title of Our Lady, and the importance of Her role in the salvation of all mankind. Happy New Year and Happy Solemnity…may God bless us all this coming New Year. Stay courageous my friends… God has plans for each of us.

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