(The Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord [Christmas] SOLEMNITY OF MARY, THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD

January 1

Collect:

O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed on the human race
the grace of eternal salvation,
grant, we pray,
that we may experience the intercession of her,
through whom we were found worthy
to receive the author of life,
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Reflection:

The Collect shows the rich devotion of the Church to the Blessed Mother. We celebrate that devotion with ancient hymn texts that are regularly part of our prayer life: Sub Tuum,Ave Maria, Salve Regina, Alma Redemptoris Mater. In all of them Mary is our advocate. Hers is the fruitful womb. Through her intercessions we hope for our salvation. She is the dawn of salvation and Christ is the rising Sun, the true light of our life. she is our model of joyful hope and faithful disciple of the Lord. In her fruitful virginity signifies the birth of Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God as human like us.

This Collect is taken from the Roman Breviary and used through out the Christmas season. It started as a seventh-century prayer to open the celebration of the Assumption of Mary. She is our intercessor because she lives with her Son forever in heaven. Using this prayer during Christmas Time adds to our understanding of the Incarnation – the Lord took on flesh so that he could experience, as do we, the suffering of death. Nonetheless, the Incarnation leads to Resurrection and thus we have a hope that transcends death. This is the blessing of the fruit of Mary’s womb. This is the gift of the author of life. The Blessed Mother has given us the best gift, the fulfilled promise of God to us. Jesus, the God-is-with-us took the form of man. The human flesh of Jesus is the flesh from the blessed Mother. The blessed Virgin Mary, through her ‘Yes’ we become worthy receivers of eternal life. He took the form of man so that we become partakers of divine life. Thanks to the Blessed Mother.

Happy New Year to All. God bless