Written by Barb Spies, OFS, Director of Mission Services and Pastoral Care
What is a Solemnity? Merriam-Webster says that it is a “formal or ceremonious observance of an occasion or event.” This observance comes at an appropriate time, January 1, just a week after we celebrate Christ’s birth. Think about the women you know, or even yourself, in that first week after a baby is born. I like to think of this solemnity as a time of celebrating Mary making it through that first week! No sleep. Baby crying. Everyone wanting to visit and hold the baby. Feeding the baby. Changing the baby. Trying to find clothing that fits the baby and her. Let’s celebrate a whole week of those newborn experiences!
Celebrating Mary as a mother reminds us of her gentle nature and her favored status. She cared for Jesus in his human form. What a huge responsibility! And how special must she have been to be chosen for that important role?
As we start this new year of 2024, we can keep in mind how Mary softly cared for the baby Jesus and how she continued her mothering role throughout his life. We like to make promises in which we resolve to be better in the new year. Maybe all we need is to remind ourselves of the selfless nature of Mary and to try to be that kind of person for others around us.