despair, fear, hopelessness, Mary, Mother of God, peace, Prince of Peace, Theotokos, uncertainty, unrest
Theotokos, the Inexhaustible Cup, Russian Icon
Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The origin of the title “Mother of God” dates back to the third or fourth century. In 431, the Council of Ephesus officially declared Mary as the “Mother of God” or Theotokos (Greek term meaning “The God-bearer”). This is the first Marian dogma of the Church. As we begin the new year, the Church invites us to contemplate the divine maternity of Mary as an icon of peace.
Pope Paul VI, in his apostolic exhortation Marialis Cultus, said…
It is likewise a fitting occasion for renewing adoration of the newborn Prince of Peace, for listening once more to the glad tidings of the angels (cf. Lk. 2:14), and for imploring from God, through the Queen of Peace, the supreme gift of peace. It is for this reason that, in the happy concurrence of the Octave of Christmas and the first day of the year, we have instituted the World Day of Peace, an occasion that is gaining increasing support and already bringing forth fruits of peace in the hearts of many.
In these unsettled times, it is fitting that we start this new year focusing on the fruits of peace brought to us in Jesus through His mother Mary. The year gone by was rife with fear, uncertainty, unrest, despair, and hopelessness. It behooves us to take time today to pray to the Mother of God for peace in our hearts, our homes, our neighborhoods, and throughout the world.