Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church

January 5, 2021 | Miles Christi

Every January 1st the Church celebrates the beginning of the new year by placing it under the protection of Mary, under her title of Mother of God. In the mystery of the Redemption, God also decreed that Mary be the Mother of the Church, for although she gave birth to her firstborn without pain, she did not refuse the most terrible torments of soul in order to bring forth her new children at the foot of the Cross.

“It was she, the second Eve, who, free from all sin, original or personal, and always more intimately united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father for all the children of Adam, sin-stained by his unhappy fall, and her mother’s rights and her mother’s love were included in the holocaust.

Thus she who, according to the flesh, was the Mother of our Head, through the added title of pain and glory became, according to the Spirit, the Mother of all His members. She it was, who, through her powerful prayers, obtained that the spirit of our Divine Redeemer, already given on the Cross, should be bestowed, accompanied by miraculous gifts, on the newly founded Church at Pentecost; and finally, bearing with courage and confidence the tremendous burden of her sorrows and desolation, she, truly the Queen of Martyrs, more than all the faithful ‘filled up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ… for His Body, which is the Church’ (Col 1: 24) and she continues to have for the Mystical Body of Christ, born of the pierced Heart of the Savior, the same motherly care and ardent love with which she cherished and fed the Infant Jesus in the crib” (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, 110).

The idea that the Mother of God was made the Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ at the foot of the Cross is not new, but was believed very early in the Church. “In that hour,” declares St. Augustine, “she cooperated through her love in the supernatural birth of the faithful.  She became the spiritual Mother of all who are members of the one Head, Christ Jesus” (St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Glories of Mary, Ch.1, §2).

May we place all our hopes for the new year in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Let us avail ourselves of this opportunity and be resolved to ask God, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Mediatrix of all grace, for those spiritual gifts that we most long for this coming year.