Mary, Mother of God

Today we celebrate the difficult to understand, but beautiful, fact that Mary is the Theotokos, the God Bearer, or the Mother of God.

St. Athanasius, in today’s Office of Readings sheds, some light on this:

The Apostle tells us: The Word took to himself the sons of Abraham, and so had to be like his brothers in all things. He had then to take a body like ours. This explains the fact of Mary’s presence: she is to provide him with a body of his own, to be offered for our sake. Scripture records her giving birth, and says: She wrapped him in swaddling clothes. Her breasts, which fed him, were called blessed. Sacrifice was offered because the child was her firstborn. Gabriel used careful and prudent language when he announced his birth. He did not speak of “what will be born in you” to avoid the impression that a body would be introduced into her womb from outside; he spoke of “what will be born from you” so that we might know by faith that her child originated within her and from her.

To take on our nature in the hypostatic union, God chose to ask Mary to be his mother.  Fortunately, she said yes, aligning her will to His, making our salvation possible.

O pure and holy Virgin, how can I find words to praise your beauty?  The highest heavens cannot contain God whom you carried in your womb.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us as we begin a new year.

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