Saint Brigid Religious Education
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West Hartford, CT 06110

Holy Days of Obligation

Feast of Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God ~ January 1

This feast, closely connected to the feast of Christmas, is the most important and oldest of the major feasts of Mary. It is based on her motherhood. Jesus Christ, God's Son " born of a woman,"  came to deliver us from sin and make us children of God. He is also Mary's Son, and she, his mother, helps bring his blessings to the world.

She is truly the Mother of God and of the Redeemer.  Mary was not simply a passive instrument in God's hands, rather she accepted her motherhood.

Mary's care for humanity and its needs was not limited to her earthly life.  It lasts forever.  Whether in her own lifetime or from her place in heaven, Mary's love for us is always there.  At Cana in Galilee she told the servers at table, "Do what he tells you." In all her care for others, she points out Jesus to them.

Throughout her life, then, Mary was a follower of her Son. At the foot of the cross Mary experienced her Son's redeeming love for the world. Her spirit was touched and refined by the mystery of his death and resurrection.  From his cross, Jesus, seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing there, said to Mary, "Woman, behold your son."  The words uttered by Jesus signify that the motherhood of her who bore Christ is continued in the Church and through the Church.

The principal reading for the feast, from St. Luke's gospel, describes the shepherds coming to Bethlehem where they
"found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger."  Mother and son are found together. She presents her Son to them. In fact, she will always point to him. As a pilgrim of faith, she "treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart"; at the same time, she invites other pilgrims to treasure and reflect on the mystery of Jesus Christ.

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