Today is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Happy feast day! Happy New Year! Today's feast celebrates Mary's motherhood of Jesus Christ who was both true God and true man. It was at the First Council of Ephesus in AD. 431 that the Church dogmatically declared Mary to be Θεοτόκος (Theotokos), a Greek term meaning "Bearer of God". Here is Bishop Earl Boyea's reflection upon the significance of all that to us today:
“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). The second person of the Blessed Trinity took on flesh, flesh from Mary who bore him in her womb. She was his mother, he was both man and God, and so she is the Mother of this Man-God. What a great way to end these seven days after Christmas. We are reminded yet again of the great gift given us in Jesus Christ. Because of that gift we honor Mary, his mother."
"There was a heresy in the 400's called Nestorianism which claimed that Mary was only the Mother of Jesus but not the Mother of God. This heresy attempted to separate the human nature of Jesus from his divine nature, ignoring that Jesus was a single person, not two people. Mary gave birth to that person, Jesus Christ. So it was that the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 AD settled the matter. Obviously, Mary is not the source of God, but she did give birth to Jesus, the Son of God, and so she is rightly called Mother of God."
"Once, when Jesus was speaking to the crowds, family members showed up wanting to speak with him. Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother” (Matthew 12:50). Mary’s great claim to fame is her “Fiat,” her “Yes,” to the will of the Father, a yes which endured her whole life. She always did the will of the Father. Sisters and brothers, as we bring this Christmas week to a close, let us remember that it is not in merely looking upon a Creche or enjoying some carols or thinking about the birth of this child in Bethlehem which is important. Rather, it is our day in and day out adherence to Jesus, through thick and thin, our faithful fulfilling of the Father’s will in our lives which will bring light to the darkness of our world and lead us into everlasting life."