Thursday, January 01, 2009

Celebrating the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God

As we celebrate the arrival of the New Year, today is also the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. "Theotokos," the God bearer, is the most common image associated with this feast. The image of "Theotokos" is familiar: the focus is on Mary's birthing of Jesus, her bringing him into (human) being and giving him to the world. We are all called, by virtue of our common baptism, to be "Theotokos" in our world today, to bear Christ, to carry Christ to all of God's people. The call is sacred and should not be minimized or ignored. But the feast of Mary, the Mother of God also calls us to focus on Mary's mothering of God beyond Jesus' birth in a humble stable. Today's feast asks us to contemplate and respond to the call to care for Christ in the most ordinary yet most meaningful everyday ways. For me, this invitation calls me to reflect on and respond more meaningfully to the numerous opportunities in daily life to mother Christ, not in disempowering or condescending ways but in ways that lift up, empower, and allow Jesus to be more fully known and loved. The call to mother Christ is a call to make Christ available and be available to Christ in God's many faces, voices, and presences: to care for Christ by caring for all of God's people and creation.


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