Homily of the Feast of Mary Mother of God - 2019
Dearly Beloved, as so many in the world celebrate the beginning of a new year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Mother of God. This celebration, in NO way admits the divinity of Mary. The church has always affirmed that Mary is not divine, but she is as close to divinity as any creature can get. She is the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son and the spouse of the Holy Spirit.
This celebration is happening after the great revelation of the mystery of the Incarnation. It gives us the confidence we need to begin our New Year with optimism and joy. After this great revelation of the Child in the manger at Bethlehem and we have believed in the Christmas promise — that our God is with us, that he has come into our world to stay, that he will be with us until the end of time. And that is what New Year’s is all about — time. And that is what our lives are about. Our lives are a gift of time, a gift that we live in thankfulness to God each day.
In our second reading for this holy Mass, we heard St. Paul say: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman. ... so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Through Mary, our Almighty and Eternal God assumed time — to show us that our time is for God. Through Mary time has been sanctified, time was given a new meaning and a new purpose. The whole of this new year, 2019, is yet another gift of time, for you and me, a beautiful opportunity to live as children of God.
Friends, we can turn to the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1 which gives us a good perspective on time as a gift from God: "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." The two words here--season and time—season imply duration/period of time and time -- a specific point within the duration/period. Because everything has a season, nothing (at least on earth) lasts forever. God has appointed a "season" for everything. Seasons have beginnings and endings. They last, but not too long. In the life cycle there is a season for gestation, a season for childhood and youth, a season for middle age and a season for old age, followed by death. It's all quite natural; it's all a gift from God.
Solomon's thesis is this: Every activity of mankind has a proper time and a predetermined duration. Our lives will be a lot less stressful if we recognize that the omniscient hand of God has appointed a time when things are to be done, and He has a predetermined duration for those things.
Dearly Beloved, everyone goes through good times and bad times; together they make up the season of your life. It's not the times of our lives that shape us, but the seasons. Make sure you don't live only for the good times; when the bad times come, and they will, you won't have the strength to handle them. And make sure you don't let the bad times defeat you. If you do, you'll miss out on all the good times God still has in store for you. It takes both to make a life. Thanks be to God that neither good times nor bad times last; only eternity does. Only God lives in eternity.
Again we note “God has made everything beautiful in its time." At the appropriate point in time, God will make everything fit into the season of your life. It's like the pieces of a puzzle. You struggle to piece things together, and then all of a sudden, things just seem to fall into place. That's what happens when you commit both your times and your seasons to God.
Beloved, be mindful of this in this New Year. If things aren't going your way, give it time. If things are going your way, prepare for the time when they won't. Set your sights on the duration season, not on the peaks and valleys of time. Continuously learn each day to build your life on God, his word and sacraments, and you will be a seasoned Christian. Building your life on the things that happen in time, is never the way to go.
Dearly Beloved, a new year like this always presents us with a new season with new opportunities and new beginnings. Learn to let go of the mistakes of the previous season and take every opportunity to make a difference in your life and in that of those dear to you. Mary, our mother, will equally journey with you. Let go every fear and learn to have total faith in God.