MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD
The celebration of Mary as Mother of God has very ancient roots. Mary was venerated in the East from the early third Christian century as theotokos, a Greek term that means God-Bearer. The title Mother of God is a loose equivalent of the more ancient designation, theotokos. It affirms the Christological affirmations of Chalcedon and reminds us of the fullness of the humanity and the divinity of Jesus. It also reminds us of the extraordinary role of Miriam of Nazareth in the mystery of the incarnation.
Today’s liturgy shifts the focus ever so slightly to Mary, through whose “yes” the mystery of the incarnation is realized.
The all-knowing narrator tells us that Mary treasured or carefully preserved all these happenings and pondered them in her heart. A little later, we hear the story of the twelve year old Jesus going up to Jerusalem with his parents for Passover and staying behind in the temple, teaching the teachers. Mary and Joseph listen to his explanation about remaining “in his Father’s house” or “being about his Father’s business” though they fail to understand. The narrator tells us that “his mother treasured all these things in her heart.” While a different Greek verb is used for “treasured” in this passage, the meaning is the same as in today’s gospel passage. Mary has to struggle to comprehend the ways of God in her life. She is presented as a
grace-filled woman forever pondering the mysterious ways of God. We too are called to treasure “all these things” in our hearts and trust that their power will transform our lives even if we do not always understand.
Sr. Veronica Lawson rsm. www.catholicearthcare.org.au