As Christians, baptized, believing Christians, Jesus Christ has been born into our hearts and has given us life. St. Paul tells us,
“See to it that no one deceives you through any empty, seductive philosophy that follows mere human tradition, a philosophy based upon cosmic powers rather than on Christ.” Col 2:4
“He cancelled that bond that stood against us with all its claims, snatching it up and nailing it to the Cross. Thus did God disarm the principalities and powers.” Col 2:15
Paul is speaking to us about holding on to our faith in Jesus, over against the world and its empty philosophies, and against death and sin. Paul is assuring us that there are other powers and principalities. The Devil does exist and works in the world and is always attempting to seduce us through worldly arguments.
Today we use the word “secularism” to speak of the world’s philosophy. Secularism, liberalism and other worldly philosophies attempt to tell us our religion is false, imaginary, even old fashioned.
It is notable that in our Catholic faith, we honor Mary on this, the first day of the new secular year. Mary is an object of our adoration on many dates throughout the year, even with holy days of obligation, including, today, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption and December 8th, the Feast of her Immaculate Conception. In addition, we honor her at other times, like the Month of May and Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 15th.
Why do we do this? Because Mary is the best assurance that God became man. God didn’t simply stay in heaven like a good god should. The world hates Mary. The Devil hates Mary. God promised Eve that there would be enmity between the Devil and Mary, and that she would crush his head as he attempted to strike her heal. Mary will be victorious. The Devil has already lost because Mary said, “Yes”. Death lost to Mary, because of her Son and His resurrection.
Mary is the mother of God. Although she is merely human, she is honored in the Church because our entire religion came to us through her. Our eternal conquest over Death and the Devil are possible because she is the Mother of God. Our eternal salvation is only possible because she said “Yes” to God.
It is fascinating that the angels announced the birth of the Savior to world. But, the angels did not announce Jesus’ birth to newspapers or kings or princes or religious authorities. Religious and world in Israel authorities already possessed over 1,000 years of prophecy regarding the coming of the Lord. No, the grand announcement, with choirs of angels singing, came not to the powerful and wise, but to the poorest and least respected, to shepherds in the fields. They responded and went to adore the baby Jesus. They found Mary and Joseph.
Religious authorities ignored the star and the prophecies and the three Magi. King Herod sent soldiers to kill Him, and slaughtered all baby boys in and around Bethlehem. Meanwhile, Mary and Joseph were spared the attack of the world and the Devil through the message of an angel, and they fled to safety in Egypt.
The world hates Mary. Just ask them. Today, we honor our Mother.