The Bishops Homily – Solemnity Of Mary’s Motherhood

Solemnity Of Mary’s Motherhood
1 January 2017
Num. 6: 22-27
Gal. 4:4-7
Lk. 2: 16-21

Introduction: I invite everyone to reflect on this Solemnity of Mary’s Motherhood as one among the most important blessings Mary received from God with a formula of blessing Aaron and the priests of old would recite in blessing the people:
The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace.

(1) The word of blessing which Elizabeth spoke to Mary “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?” Lk. 1: 42-43 is in continuity with the priestly blessing. No other creature has ever seen God’s face to the eternal word so that all of us can contemplate him.

(2) Christ and his mother are inseparable: There is a very close relationship as between every child and his mother. The flesh (caro) of Christ which, as Tertulian says, is the hinge (cardo) of our salvation – was knit together in the womb of Mary. This inseparability is also clear from the fact that Mary also shared intimately in his entire mission, remaining at her Son’s side to the end in Calvary.

(3) Likewise, inseparable is Christ and the Church. To separate Jesus from the Church would introduce an ‘absurd dichotomy’. It is not possible. “to love Christ without the Church or to listen to Christ but not the Church or to belong to Christ but outside the Church,” for the Church is herself God’s family which brings Christ to us. Without the Church, our relationship to Christ would be at the mercy of our imagination, our interpretations, and our moods.”

Conclusion: Mary, Mother of God, is also the mother of the Church and through the Church, the mother of all men and women and of every people.

Most Rev. Antonio R. Tobias, DD
Bishop of Novaliches