Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. As we begin this new calendar year, we are reminded of God’s amazing love for us today. God calls us His adopted sons and daughters and Mary is our true mother. What does is mean to be called God’s adopted children? Why is Mary our true mother?
With the celebration of Mary, Mother of God, and our Blessed Mother, St. Paul reminds us of how we are invited into a relationship of adoption. Our adoption as God’s beloved children happens at our baptism and in that moment our relationship with God changes forever! Through the Sacrament of Baptism, you are fully welcomed as a child of God. That is why we can use words like, “Abba, Father” when speaking to God. This is an endearing word that a child would use to call his or her own biological father. Jesus taught us to call upon God as “Abba, Father” when He taught us how to pray the Our Father.
Baptism, as holy as this sacrament is, is not enough in itself. We will spend the rest of our live learning what our baptism/ adoption means. Throughout our lives, we must be aware of what it means to belong to God and His family. Parents, during the baptism, promise to raise their children, to the best of their abilities, in the fullness of the Catholic faith. It is a solemn and beautiful responsibility to be taken with the utmost care and responsibility. Godparents promise to help, and we as a community pledge our support—and we must take this seriously. Then, of course, as this child reaches an age of maturity, they must take responsibility for their own formation and their own faithfulness as Catholics.
We all come from various family situations. Some children grow up in the most ideal, seemingly picture-perfect Catholic family. Many children come from home lives filled with scars and wounds. BUT your adoption through your baptism has given you a mother who loves you… perfectly!
In a homily by a priest name Fr. Daniel Hess, he said: “We hear that Mary is Mother of God, and our mother, from our earliest days of Catholic formation. But do we allow this to be personal?” That is a great question that hopefully inspires us to continue to work on our relationship with Mary. Our Blessed Mother is always ready for us to turn to Her with confidence and trust. Mary is the most perfect of human mothers who wants nothing but the best for her children.
This New Year’s day, we are invited to recognize the powerful relationships of love that give us stability and hope in a messy world. We are sons and daughters of the Most High God, adopted into a family of love in the Church, with Mary as our mother. Your sin does not define you! Christ has set you free. Mary, associated with Christ's victory over the sin of our first parents, appears as the true "mother of the living". Her motherhood is a source of life for all humanity. Recall your baptism and the promises that where made. Remember that you have been adopted into God’s family. You now have opportunities to give and receive life and love in Christ Jesus through His mother. In gratefulness, may we be courageous and generous, not letting our fears hold us back from following where Christ will lead us in the year ahead.
Fr. Don Kline, V.F.