Thursday, January 01, 2004

Mary, Mother of God

In the Church's wisdom, the first day of every new year honors the Blessed Virgin Mary by reminding us of her most exalted title--Mother of God. This title, which she received at the Council of Ephesus in 431, is based on the important idea that the Virgin Mary gave birth to a divine person. The Council declared that Jesus is fully God and fully man. Consequently, through the Incarnation, by Mary's maternity of Jesus, she is the Mother of God.

Like almost every ecumenical council, the Council of Ephesus was called to address a problem and pronounce the Church's teaching which would answer the question at hand. The bishop of Constantinople was Nestorius. He held that Mary had only given birth to Christ in His human nature. His divine nature, proponents of the Nestorian view held, was added to His human nature at a later point in His life. The problem with this view is that it separates Christ's two natures, which cannot be separated as the Council of Calcedon in 451 confirmed. Christ is one undivided person. Because mothers give birth to persons and not natures, the son of Mary was a divine person. And because her son is the divine person, Mary can be called the Mother of God.

The beauty of this title recognizes what God has done for us. He truly came to be born of a woman and born under the law to save us who under the law (Galatians 4:4). God took on flesh and became one of us. He loves us so much that He was willing to experience everything we experience, except sin. The God who loves me that much must be willing to hear about all my problems and help me through every trouble that comes my way. He is that close, and He knows exactly what it is like to live a daily existence. He is familiar with the difficulties, the triumphs, and the very ordinary moments which make up most of our lives. In other words, He has been in our skin. As we begin a new year, I cannot think of a better mystery to ponder.

Posted by David at 8:11 PM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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