Solemnity of Mary, Holy Mother of God
Dec 30, 2016
Dear Friends in Christ,
This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. In the Gospel of Matthew, we find the family tree of Jesus. Jesus’ parents are Mary and Joseph but their family tree can be traced back to Abraham who was given the promise of his ancestors being “as numerous as the stars.” Luke’s Gospel traces Jesus’ family tree all the way back to God. We are all in God’s family through Jesus.
Many people try to trace their family genealogy, going back centuries to determine their origins. Sometimes this search is easy because the family has lived in the same country, and perhaps even the same city, for many generations. In other cases, the search requires them to cross oceans, dig up buried records, and rummage through old, dust-covered volumes. The rebuilding of their family tree is an attempt to come to a deeper understanding of who they are. Jesus didn’t need all this study of his pedigree. If there is one conviction we could call the cornerstone of his life, it is his awareness that he has come from the Father and has assumed a human nature out of obedience to his Father’s will. We, too, come from the Father who created us. We, too, have a mission to fulfill here on earth. This is what gives meaning to our entire existence: Our very origin springs from the love of God the Father.
Man was born for greatness: he was created in the image and likeness of God. The collection of names in Matthew’s genealogy is arranged in three groups, as if to make a statement about human history. (1) Abraham, through his obedience, deepened the covenant with God. Man was born and raised up to be a king. (2) Yet man turned out to be a tyrant. He abused the freedom God had given him, defying, disobeying and turning his back on his Creator. With tears in his eyes, the Father watched his prodigal son depart into exile. (3) However, God did not write human history to end in tragedy. He sent his Son into the world to help man regain his greatness: to rise him up to greater heights, to become sons of God. History is not a road leading nowhere; its goal is for us to be in heaven with God. So it’s not enough for us to know our origin is in the love of God the Father and our salvation is in Jesus Christ. We need to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in bringing about God’s gracious plan. We can invest our time to bring about Christ’s Kingdom in the workplace, in our homes and in society.
Fr. Cory Rohlfing