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Friday, January 1, 2010

Solemnity of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

January 1
World Day of Peace
Solemnity of The Blessed Virgin Mary
Mother of God
First Friday

A mother can be described in many ways, today I contemplate two. A woman is a man’s mother if she carried him in her womb or if she was the woman contributing half of his genetic matter. Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of His divinity, she is neither. She is however the Mother of God in the sense that she carried Him in her womb and contributed half of his genetic material. Today, January 1, is the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, the Theotokos, “God-bearer” declared by the council of Ephesus in 431, to which the early Church Fathers heartily agreed.

“The Virgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God” ( Against Heresies, 5:19:1, A.D. 189, Irenaeus)

“We acknowledge the resurrection of the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the firstling; he bore a body not in appearance but in truth derived from Mary the Mother of God” (Letter to All Non-Egyptian Bishops 12, A.D. 324, Peter of Alexandria)

“The Father bears witness from heaven to his son. The Holy Spirit bears witness, coming down bodily in the form of a dove. The archangel Gabriel bears witness, bringing, the good tidings to Mary. The Virgin Mother of God bears witness” ( Catechetical Lectures 10:19 A.D. 350, Cyril of Jerusalem)

“Though still a virgin she carried a child in her womb, and the handmaid and work of his wisdom became the Mother of God” (Songs of Praise 1:20, A.D. 351, Ephraim the Syrian)

“The Word begotten of the Father from on high, inexpressibly, inexplicably, incomprehensibly, and eternally, is he that is born in time here below of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God” (The Incarnation of the Word of God 8 , A.D. 365, Athanasius)

“I have been amazed that some are utterly in doubt as to whether or not the holy Virgin is able to be called the Mother of God. For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how should the holy Virgin who bore him not be the Mother of God?” (Letter to the Monks of Egypt 1 A.D. 427, Cyril of Alexandria)

“Therefore we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord. According to this understanding of the unconfused union, we confess the holy Virgin to be the Mother of God because God the Word took flesh and became man and from this very conception united to himself the temple he took for her” (Formula of Union, A.D. 431, Council of Ephesus)

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