Mary Mother of God: Homily by Fr. John Fitzpatrick SAC

Original painting of the Annunciation commissioned by Venerable Mother Magdalen Taylor foundress of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, Mater Dei, Rome

On the first day of the year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Mother of God and Mother of Jesus. She welcomed the mystery that dwelt in humility and in the obedience of faith, meditating and keeping everything in her heart. If on Christmas Day we contemplated Mary as the way chosen by God for the incarnation of his Son, today we can see her as the way chosen by God to make Jesus grow in each one of us. God chose Mary as the Mother of his Son to make us children of God and his brothers and sisters. Here then Mary will also love us as brothers of Jesus and therefore her children. And what will be the goal of this love? To make Jesus grow in us, to help us to guard him more and more.Mary will also love us with a specifically maternal love. And we know what the characteristics of this love will be. It will be to communicate to us his soul, his thoughts, his feelings, in a word, love for Jesus. Mary’s particular grace, in fact, in the Father’s plan, is precisely that of communicating to us the same love that she has for Jesus. And once this is done, everything would be done. A mother, as we well know, influences her children not so much through the ways of intelligence, of reasoning, but more through the way of the heart, the way of life, the way of affection, of communion of life, of personal relationship and familiarity with her. The mother is especially concerned that her children are close to her, that they enter her inner world.The same thing we must think, it will also be true for Mary. Mary will influence as a mother, therefore with her example, with that model of life that she embodies and that most characterizes her, with her unique love. These are the things we learn and receive being together with Mary. She will influence us through prayer, interceding her first with the heavenly Father and praying to her precisely to obtain all those graces we need. Hence the importance of our conversation with Mary, of prayer addressed to her as a moment of confidence and familiarization, meditating with her and under her guidance on the truths of faith and the teachings of Jesus.In this regard there is a form of prayer so recommended by the Church, because it is so dear to Mary, in which we can live all the aforementioned values gathered together. It is the Rosary. It is a prayer of invocation repeated to Mary with the words of the angelic greeting, alternating with meditation on the principal mysteries of Jesus’ life, during which we praise Mary, ask through her for the most beautiful spiritual graces, meditate together on the great mysteries of faith. The most important thing is the fact that through the recitation of the Rosary we can grow more and more in love for Mary and through her for Jesus. The frequent recitation of the Rosary could be one of the most beautiful resolutions to be drawn from today’s feast and with which to start the new year.

Father John Fitzpatrick SAC, San Silvestro, Rome