Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Octave Day of Christmas. Day of World Peace
January 1, 2009
One week after celebrating the birth of the Lord, the Church now honors His mother. It is but fitting that we venerate in a special way she who generously gave herself to God’s plan of redemption. “What will we do for her? What are the gifts we will offer her? Oh would that we could give her what she deserves. We owe her honor, we owe her service, we owe her love, we owe her praise. We owe her honor because she is the Mother of Our Lord. He who does not honor his mother, undoubtedly does not honor the son.” (Beatus Aelredus, Sermo 20, in nativitate beatae Mariae)
The Church also celebrates today the World Peace Day. Pope Benedict XVI has chosen as the theme of his message, “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace.” Towards the end of his message, he says, “At the start of the New Year, then, I extend to every disciple of Christ and to every person of good will a warm invitation to expand their hearts to meet the needs of the poor and to take whatever practical steps are possible in order to help them. The truth of the axiom cannot be refuted: ‘to fight poverty is to build peace.’” Let us pray to our Blessed Mother for the poor and those who are suffering. We can think of concrete acts of service to carry out for those most in need around us: household helpers, family drivers, employees, and those for whom we can do something.