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Catholic Feast of Mary Mother of God

Inviting All To The Feast

Catholic Feast of Mary Mother of GodMary the Mother of God – Fr. Terry Article January 1, 2017

“Wait a minute. Did you say Mary, the Mother of God?  How can God have a mother?  I can buy that Mary was the mother of Jesus, but God???  Is this another one of those Catholic beliefs that make Mary out to be a God?”

This was part of a conversation that I had recently at a “holiday” party when a gentleman overheard me referring to the Feast Day Mary the Mother of God that we celebrate this weekend.

On the surface it does appear to be a challenging role and title for Mary, but some simple theological insight can really help us in our belief about God and, as always, theological insight can lead to a more symbolic concept that can then be practically applied or lived out in our lives.  So, first of all, the title is not primarily about Mary.  None of her significant titles and actions in the scriptures are primarily about her – they are primarily about Jesus.  She said yes to an angel who told her she would bear and give birth to Jesus.  She said yes because of God and Jesus.  She treasured things that people said about Jesus because of him, not her.  She welcomed guests who traveled to visit him shortly after his birth – because of him, not her.  She searched for him in the temple with her husband Joseph—because of him, not her.  She and Joseph raised him with tender love and care and almost certainly taught him – not because of her, but because of him.

At the wedding feast of Cana, amidst a dilemma regarding running out of wine, she simply told those waiting on tables, “Do whatever he tells you,” – not because of her, but because of him.  She pointed to him and that paved the way for HIS first miracle, or “sign,” as the evangelist John calls them.  She points to Jesus and his public ministry begins, and as the Cana story concludes it says, “…and his disciples began to believe in him.” There are many other situations that scripture and our church tradition tells us of the valued and truly unique role that Mary plays in salvation history.

This feast invites us to see that Jesus is not simply the son of God, or the Messiah, or the savior of the world, but Jesus is the second person of our God who is three persons.  He is God in human form.  God fully intended to live with us, to be Incarnate among us, to be one of us – and Mary was the life giving force behind that reality.

Only one woman gave birth to the word made flesh, but this feast invites us ALL to see that we can give birth to God in our world.  We can bring about God’s presence to others, and to the world.  In fact, I believe that God is counting on us to do that.  I believe that because God chose to be one of us that he consecrated all life with the possibility of revealing the divine.  That is how powerful your life is.  You, we, I, all of us can give birth to the divine in our world.

New Year’s day is a perfect day to reflect on, and perhaps plan on, how we are going to make the divine real this coming year. Let’s join Mary.  Let’s give birth to the divine this coming year.  God is counting on us!!

The life that Mary and the Holy Spirit bring into the world through Jesus’ birth is NEW life.  Our theme for 2017 is reNEW, so this coming year we at Holy Family will be encouraging every ministry to reNEW their purpose and energize their mission with new vigor, one that we know comes primarily from the Holy Spirit in our midst.  This quite simply is an invitation to be an even HOLIER Family through activities and events that constitute our major ministering communities – Adult Faith, Family and Teen Faith, Holy Family Catholic Academy, Human Concerns, Liturgical Life, Music and Worship Technology and Parish Support and Services.

One of the best ways to reNEW is to attend our Beloved Retreat beginning Friday, January 20 and concluding Sunday the 22nd led by Dr. Terry Nelson Johnson on the beautiful grounds of Mundelein Seminary in nearby Mundelein.  You may recall that Terry led our Parish Lenten Mission last year, directs his own enterprise entitled Soul Play and serves the people of Old St. Patrick’s Parish in the city.  A retreat is probably the best way to RENEW your spiritual energy and focus.  When did you last attend a retreat?  Have you ever done a retreat? Trust me, this retreat is worth it. Take a flyer available in our Narthex and contact our Adult Faith Office for details.

Another opportunity to reNEW is to attend our “Twistin’ The Night Away” Gala on Saturday, February 25 at 7:00 pm at the Meadows Club. The Gala gathers us to celebrate our ENTIRE Holy Family Catholic Community in fun, celebration and support of so many activities and ministries.  Some funds raised at the Gala are allocated for our Academy, Family and Teen Faith and Adult Faith programs, but the remainder are available for any ministry or activity in our community that requests them.

I have been pleased with the way that the Gala has brought our entire community together in the past few years and I am counting on your support to continue that trend this year.  Come and Twist The Night Away and celebrate Holy Family at our 2017 Gala.

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