MARY, MOTHER OF GOD
SOLEMNITY/ WORLD DAY OF PEACE
From antiquity, Mary has been called “Theotokos”, or “God-Bearer”. The word in Greek is “Theotokos”. The term was used as part of the popular piety of the early first millennium church
Hail, Holy Mother, who gave birth to the King, who rules heaven and earth forever.
O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.
First Reading: Numbers 6:22-27
The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Say this to Aaron and his sons: “This is how you are to bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.” This is how they are to call down my name of the sons of Israel, and I will bless them.’
Psalm 66 (67) :2-18.104.22.168
R/ O God, be gracious and bless us.
1. O God be gracious and bless us, and let your face shed its light upon us. So will your ways be known upon earth, and all nations learn your saving help.
2. Let the nations be glad and exult, for you rule the world with justice. With fairness you rule the peoples, you guide the nations on earth.
3. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all peoples praise you. May God still give us his blessing, till the ends of the earth revere him.
Second Reading: Galatians 4:4-7
When the appointed time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born a subject of the Law, to redeem the subjects of the Law and to enable us to be adopted as sons. The proof that you are sons is that God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts: the Spirit that cries, ‘Abba, Father,’ and it is this that makes you a son, you are not a slave anymore; and if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.
Gospel Acclamation: Heb1:1-2
Alleluia, alleluia!At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 2:16-21
The shepherds hurried away to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say. As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told. When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.
Prayer over the Offerings
O God, who in your kindness begin all good things and bring them to fulfilment, grant to us, who find joy in the Solemnity of the holy Mother of God, that, just as we glory in the beginnings of your grace, so one day we may rejoice in its completion. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Heb 13: 8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.
Prayer after Communion
We have received this heavenly Sacrament with joy, O Lord: grant, we pray, that it may lead us to eternal life, for we rejoice to proclaim the blessed ever-Virgin Mary Mother of your Son and Mother of the Church. Through Christ our Lord.
Today, we celebrate the divine motherhood of Mary; Mary is the mother of God, Theotokos, because she is the mother of Jesus, who is true God and true Man. She carried God’s Son in her womb and gave him to the world on Christmas Day. We too can become “mothers” of God by carrying Jesus in our hearts, by letting him live in us, and by giving him to the world through words and actions that are inspired by his Word. Mary teaches us how to do that; she treasured all that was said about Jesus and pondered it in her heart. In the same way, we should ponder the Word of God in our hearts everyday; we should meditate on it and let it guide our thoughts, words and deeds. In this way, Jesus will dwell in us and through us people will know him.