New Year thru Mary

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! Once again, we begin a new year and let’s hope that as another year starts, we can truly say that we are getting stronger in our resolve to pursue the real purpose of our life here on earth.

Liturgically, January 1 celebrates the divine motherhood of Mary which tells us a lot of amazing things. From the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians, for example, we are told this wonderful, if incredible, truth about ourselves, about who we really are:

“When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law: that he might redeem them who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father. So, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.” (4,4-7)

We need to process these words slowly so they may sink into our very consciousness and start to live them out. Hopefully, we can little by little overcome whatever disbelief and awkwardness we can feel about this truth about ourselves.

Of great help to us in this regard is to have a deepening devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and our mother. If we try our best to imitate her faith in God, we too, despite all the difficulties and effort involved, can somehow also incarnate Jesus in our own lives. We are actually meant for that, since we are patterned after him and he is also the savior of our humanity that has been wounded by our sins.

With Mary always in our mind and heart, we would always be led to Christ. She would teach us how to find Christ in everything that we do, no matter how mundane things are. Even the little ordinary things we deal with everyday can be an occasion to have an encounter with Christ as well as a chance to be like Christ as we should. As one saint had put it, Mary is the shortest, surest and safest way to Jesus.

If we truly have Mary in our mind and heart, then we can learn how to always ponder the truths of our faith and to act on them. (cfr. Lk 2,19) Yes, we can develop a contemplative life even right in the hustle and bustle of our earthly affairs. Yes, we are all meant to be contemplatives because we need to be aware that we are meant to live our life with God and with everybody else.

We are never alone. Feeling alone is an anomaly in our life. As persons, endowed with intelligence and will, we are meant to be always in relation with God and with everybody else. This potential of ours should be actualized. We need to find ways of how to actualize such potential.

We need to see to it that we should always feel the urge to pray, to engage with God, to be with him. If we do not feel that urge yet, let’s convince ourselves that we have something most important to work on. Thus, like the disciples of Christ, impressed by how Christ was to them, we should beg him to teach us how to pray. (cfr. Lk 11,1-4)

Again, Happy New Year, everyone! And good luck!