Homily - New Year 2018. Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Fr. Seno)
"When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom
those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons" (Excerpts from our Second Reading [Gal 4:
4-7]). Beloved, we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. We celebrate 2018, the Year of the
Holy Eucharist declared by our Bishop John Noonan. My dear friends, when God's Only Begotten Son
entered our world in a physical form through the Blessed Virgin Mary, God demonstrated concretely to us
how far He was willing to go to prove His love for us. He fashioned one of His creatures, Mary, as a sinless
singular vessel of honor for the incarnation of the sinless Jesus Christ, God Incarnate. In essence, God
made the Blessed Virgin Mary "Mother of God" as a starting point to make us His holy adopted "sons and
daughters of God" in Christ Jesus. What an amazing action of love!
What a celebration to open the New Calendar Year! We are celebrating the dawn of a new era of grace
and divine favor; the beginning of the New Creation. We are marking the great inauguration of the work of
our redemption. God in Christ revoked the condemnation brought about through the works of the enemy,
the Devil. The promise of God in Genesis Chapter Three was fulfilled. Remember, after Adam and Eve
sinned through the Devil's temptation, God condemned the Devil and promised a new woman (a new Eve,
the Blessed Virgin Mary) and her seed (a new Adam, Jesus Christ [1Cor 15:45]) who will conquer Satan, in
these words, "The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all
cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your
life. I [God] will put enmity between you [Devil] and the woman [Mary], and between your seed [demon] and
her seed [Jesus Christ]; he [Jesus] shall bruise your head [Victory], and you shall bruise his heel [Christ's
crucifixion]" (Gen 3:14-15). Certainly, Jesus came to free us from captivity to Satan and usher us into a
new relationship of holiness with God.
Brothers and sisters, in this new relationship with God, the Church invokes and honors Mary as "Mother of
God." Please, note the Church does not say Mary is Mother of God the Father or of God the Holy Spirit.
Not at all! The Church does not teach Mary is Mother of God the Eternal Word before the Incarnation (cf.
John 1:1-3; 1:30; 8:58). Nevertheless, in the new creation, God reveals Mary as "Mother of God",
because, obviously, Jesus remained God even in the womb of Mary. The child Mary bore was not merely a
man; the child was God-man together. Scripture declares,
"For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col 2:9). The Apostle Thomas proclaimed Jesus as
"My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28). Jesus is "Emmanuel (which means, God with us)" [Matt 1:23]. Mary
bore "God with us"; therefore, Mary is the "Mother of God".
Unfortunately, some Christians are embarrassed and would rather call Mary "Mother of Christ." What
these Christians fail to realize is they are compromising the identity of Jesus Christ as God. Ask yourself:
Who is Mary's Son? The answer is clearly Jesus Christ. Then, who is Jesus Christ? He is Word of God
made flesh; that is, God Incarnate (cf. John 1:1, 14). Without any iota of doubt, God clearly adopted Mary
and raised her to a metaphysical relationship as "Mother of God." What a splendid favor with God! As
Mary declared, unequivocally, the Almighty "has done great things for me, and holy is his name" (Luke 1:
49). Remember, none of us chose our mothers; but God in Christ chose His Mother. Surely, this truth is
overwhelming and rightly so! Nevertheless, let no one deny it. Rather, in the spirit of contemplation, as
Mary displayed, let us ponder these mysteries in our hearts, appreciate and treasure what God has
revealed in Christ. God has placed Mary and us on a high pedestal; please, do not diminish what God has
done in Christ. If some Christians do not feel Mary should be called "Mother of God", how do they expect
to be called "sons and daughters of God?" (cf. 1John 3:1-2).
Beloved, surely, today's celebration is not just about the Mother of God; it is intricately linked with our
exalted new status as "sons and daughters of God." Truly, only Jesus is the Son of God, through
metaphysical or divine sonship, not earthly kind. But in this new creation, God has purified us and granted
us the inestimable privilege of metaphysical or divine sonship in Christ. As Scripture says, "Those whom
he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he
also glorified" (Rom 8:30). Hence, we are called "God's Children."
We are no longer simply earthly beings; we already share in God's divinity in some measure. We are
anointed in Christ to become members of the Trinitarian Family of God. Remember, the words of Jesus,
"That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). As you can rightly infer, God is not embarrassed to
have honored human beings, His creatures, "as sons and daughters of God"; nor is He embarrassed to
have honored a human being as "Mother of God." Hence, St. Paul stated in our Second Reading (Gal 4:4-
7): God sent his Son, born of a woman… to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption
as sons." We are now God's children in the Spirit of Christ; able to call God "Abba, Father!" As sons and
daughters of God, we are also heirs with Christ. We have the same inheritance with Jesus Christ, the Son
of the Most High God, as Christ Himself guaranteed (cf. Matt 19:28; John 12:26; 14:3; 17:24; Rev. 14:4; 20:
6). Can you see the extent of God's favor? Please, do not diminish it.
Finally, as we begin this New Year 2018, I invite you to make a New Year's resolution, to study the word of
God and share your faith with people around you. Please do something for your church
“When the fullness of
time had come, God
sent his Son, born of a