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Sunday Readings for Jan. 01, 2010 (MotherofGodA)
By Father Cusick
Quickly after acclaiming the birth of the Messiah we turn with equal wonder in contemplation of his mother, immaculate and therefore "full of grace", who does not know man because she has vowed herself to perpetual virginity and whom all generations have called "blessed": the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We proclaim and preach the marvel God has brought forth in her, granting her a unique role in our redemption as "Mother of God".
"Mary is the Virgo Praedicanda, that is, the Virgin who is to be proclaimed, to be heralded, literally, to be preached. We are accustomed to preach abroad that which is wonderful, strange, rare, novel, important. Thus when our Lord was coming, St. John the Baptist preached Him; then, the Apostles went into the wide world and preached Christ. What is the highest, the rarest, the choicest prerogative of Mary? It is that she was without sin... This then is why she is the Virgo Praedicanda; she is deserving to be preached abroad because she never committed any sin...
"Preaching is a gradual work: first one lesson, then another. Thus were the heathen brought into the Church gradually. And in like manner, the preaching of Mary to the children of the Church, and the devotion paid to her by successive ages. Not so much was preached about her in early times as in later. First she was preached as the Virgin of Virgins--then as the Mother of God--then as glorious in her Assumption--then as the Advocate of sinners--then as Immaculate in her Conception. And this last has been the special preaching of the present century; and thus that which is earliest in her own history is the latest in the Church's recognition of her." (John Cardinal Newman)
Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus," Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord." (Lk 1:43; Jn 2:1; 19:25; cf. Mt 13:55; et. al.) In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos). (Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.) (CCC 495)
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy", Father Cusick
(Publish with permission.) www.christusrex.org/www1/mcitl/