Motherhood of Mary – Happy New Year 2021!
The Mother of God is surrounded by the sun. Who is the sun? Christ, the great King of Light. Whoever exposes himself uniquely to the light must himself become light. If our Lord is the Light itself, we are justified in calling the Mother of God a bearer of the light, or a Queen of Light. (J. Kentenich – Sign of Light for the World)
A New Year gives us time to look back on the blessings of the past year. Even amid the challenges of 2020, some bright lights shone forth:
With the lockdown, students were studying at home and some of the parents were working from home. Therefore, families were able to spend more time together. After school sports, activities and music lessons were cancelled, leaving an opening for home-centered events.
People were seen enjoying the outdoors together, as a family, whether bike riding, going for walks, fishing in ponds, or just picnicking. Neighbors, seeking human connection, often took the time to stop and chat. No longer did people rush from one activity to another.
We also place the challenges of this past year into the hands of our all merciful Father through Jesus, the newborn King. Mother, here in your International Shrine of the Father Kingdom – the national Shrine of the Schoenstatt Family in the USA, we feel understood and secure.
Some of these hardships included:
People with underlying conditions no longer visited their children and grandchildren. Those in nursing homes were completely isolated. Families had to resort to waving at them from outside the building. Often it was necessary to shop for groceries for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
Sanitizing areas of the home became a necessity. Churches were closed and we had no access to the Sacraments. Easter Mass was not celebrated in person. Fear and anxiety affect many people because of the pandemic, social unrest, and natural disasters.
Dear Mother Thrice Admirable our partner in the covenant of love, you have stayed at our side through the good and through the challenging times. We take a few moments of silence to place everything into the heavenly Father’s merciful heart through your loving and powerful intercession. We thank you for being our Mother.
We begin the New Year with Mary, celebrating the great gift God gave her – to be his mother. In Schoenstatt Mary’s title is Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt. When we look at the first part of her title: Mother Thrice Admirable, we admire her three times.
- As the Mother of God, which we celebrate on January 1
- As Mother of Jesus our redeemer, and
- As Mother of all people, the redeemed.
The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, is the oldest Marian feast of the Church of Rome. It commemorates Mary’s vocation to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary as the Mother of God was first defined at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., but the concept is much older. The Solemnity of Mary is celebrated on Jan. 1.
At the time of the Council of Ephesus, there was a great controversy over whether Christ was truly God and man. With Mary being given the title, Mother of God, it showed that her motherhood is of Christ who is both God and man.
Father Kentenich sees Mary, as does the Church, as the one who overcomes the heresies in the past and in the present time. He states:
Mary is called the one who overcomes all heresies. She has proved this most brilliantly in the course of the centuries. She will also conquer the collectivistic heresies of the present era. She does so through the ideal of her own personality and through her mediation of grace, which is directed towards the formation and education of great and strong personalities who have the courage to swim against the stream after her example, who are ready to surrender themselves completely to God for the work of redemption, and who have the courage to allow themselves to be crucified for their ideal. Experience shows that she educates such great figures and leads them as instruments in her hand into the arena of life and into the battle of ideologies: in the family and workshop, in the streets and alleys, in political life and the halls of government.
Joyfully, we honor Mary under her title of Mother of God with the words of Schoenstatt’s founder, Father Joseph Kentenich:
The Mother of God is the creature who expresses the tremendous love that is the origin of all motherhood far more perfectly than any other creature; she is, therefore, the great replica of the Holy Spirit in a uniquely beautiful and perfect manner.
 J. Kentenich, Sign of Light for the World, 71-72.
 J. Kentenich, Sign of Light for the World, 34.