Friday, January 1, 2016

Octave of Christmas: Mary Mother of God Year C

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. It is a special day for our community, as our church is dedicated to Our Lady under this title.

Basil of Seleucia was a bishop and ecclesiastical writer, who probably died between 458 and 460 AD. Forty-one extant sermons are attributed to him. This excerpt from one of his homilies is a beautiful meditation on the Incarnation:
Emmanuel came into the world he had made long before. God from all eternity, he came as a newborn infant. He who had prepared eternal dwellings lay in a manger, for there was no room for him at the inn. He who was made known by a star came to birth in a cave. He who was offered as a ransom for sin received gifts from the wise men. He who as God enfolds the whole world in his embrace was taken into the arms of Simeon. The shepherds gazed upon this baby; the angelic host, knowing he was God, sang of his glory in heaven and of peace to his people on earth.
And all these things together with other marvels concerning him, the holy mother of the Lord of all creation, the mother in very truth of God, pondered in her heart, and her heart was filled with great gladness. She was radiant with joy and amazed when she thought of the majesty of her Son who was also God. As her gaze rested upon that divine child I think she must have been overwhelmed by awe and longing. She was alone conversing with the Alone. 
Nativity, Giotto, 1304-1306 (Scrovegni (Arena) Chapel, Padua, Italy)

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