Homily for the feast of Mary Mother of God - Year A - Lk. 2:16-21
 
 
by
 
Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 
 
" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, «Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.» And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. "
 
 
 
Homily:
 
 
" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, «Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.» And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. "
 
We can never repeat it enough: Jesus is God and Man, he is God made man! This is what makes Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the woman, the Virgin, that which we call her: the Mother of God. Not because she had engendered God, which is not possible, but rather because she had engendered this man, who is first and foremost God: Christ Jesus!
 
«Oh, but that is all very complicated,» you might say to me. «Let us just look at the manger with the baby Jesus between the donkey and the ox. That is enough...» I would reply that those who can do no more than contemplate the manger are blessed, and they thereby receive numerous graces! And we should all imitate them, in the simplicity and humility of our heart...
 
But do not forget the parable of the talents (cf. Mt. 25:14-30)! That parable is, first, based on a coin, the talent. That coin can then be interpreted as spiritual or intellectual wealth, such as when we speak of a painter or an actor having talent. Now, we all have talent. No one has no talent. What mother does not have the talent to love her child madly, to the point of doing anything to save his or her life?
 
The shepherds of the Nativity also had talent: that of being attentive to the signs from Heaven! The shepherds attentively received the message that the angels of God brought them, and they were faithful to that message: they went all the way to where the child and his Mother were, in order to adore him and to bear witness to the angelic apparition bestowed on them...
 
" And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them (...) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. "
 
Did the shepherds have theological discussions on the attribution of the title Mother of God to the Mother of the Savior of men? I do not believe so. But were they good and holy theologians? Certainly! For they were surely suprised to see a newborn child lying in a manger, when the angels had just told them: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Lk. 2:11)
 
Christ, the Lord, in a manger! The shepherds see the long-awaited Messiah, a little child lying there, in extreme poverty, without any attendants other than his father and mother... What a shock to their minds, as Jews awaiting the liberating and conquering Messiah! Truly, humanly, for an instant, they do not understand, their intellect seems to tell them that it is not possible...
 
Suddenly, their spirit is illuminated: this child, who is the Light of the world, opens their intellect, just as, later, on the road to Emmaus, he opened the intellect of the despairing disciples... Then the light of grace penetrates the spirit of the shepherds: they begin to believe! Truly, this child is God! He is the Savior of men! He is the long-awaited Messiah! In a sense, the shepherds have become theologians, theologians of the heart, holy theologians!
 
" But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. "
 
There is nothing more to add. Let us do as Mary did, let us try...
 

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