龐貝聖母 Our Lady of Pompeii

"When you call Me by the name of the 'Queen of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii',
which is closer to Me than all the others, I cannot reject you."

January 1, 2018

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God (January 1) 天主之母節(1月1日)

On the very first day of every new year, January 1st, the Church appropriately honors the Blessed Virgin Mary with a Marian feast day and a Holy Day of Obligation. And the title by which she is honored on this day is also the first Marian dogma defined by the Church: Mary, the Mother of God. Today we celebrate the Motherhood of Mary as the vessel through whom the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, took on a human nature. This feast day also appropriately falls on the 8th day after the Nativity of Our Lord, or on the final day of the Octave of Christmas.

Many non-Catholics have a problem with Mary being called the Mother of God. But we must remember, especially on this feast day, that Mary’s title as Mother of God is not only an ancient one officially given to her by the early Church, but also that the title says more about Jesus than it does about Mary. In fact, this title of Mary was given precisely in order to reinforce the teaching on Christ’s nature handed down from the Apostles — that Jesus was truly God and truly man — in the face of a heresy that threatened it.

Mary was called the Mother of God from very early in the Church’s history. One of her earliest titles in the liturgy is Theotokos which translates “God-Bearer”. From this title she began to be called “Mother of God”. Among those who objected to this title was Nestorius, whose false ideas on the nature of Christ is labeled Nestorianism. Nestorius claimed instead that Jesus was born of Mary as human and not as Divine, thereby doctrinally dividing the nature of Christ. St. Cyril defended the title by affirming with the Church fathers that Mary did indeed give birth to the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who is called Jesus, who is simultaneously and completely both God and man from his birth. The Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.) was called to settle the dispute between Nestorius and St. Cyril. The council rightly affirmed St. Cyril and declared Nestorius a heretic.

Thus the dogma of Mary as the Mother of God was established at the Council of Ephesus. From the decree: “If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh), let him be anathema.”  The decrees of the Council were then approved by Pope Sixtus III.

So there you go. The universal Church declared once for all that Mary is indeed the Mother of God, and this title was established to protect the true doctrine of Christ’s nature from every heresy that denies it. Don’t let anyone shame you for a belief in this true title of Mary that is handed down with the authority of the Church founded by Christ.

Now that we have defended the use of the title, we can glean from its depth of theological wisdom. In the Holy Father’s [Pope Benedict] homily on this feast day last year, he notes at least five ways that the title of Mary as Mother of God bears special significance for Christians:
  1. “Mary is the mother and model of the Church, who receives the divine Word in faith and offers herself to God as the ‘good soil’ in which he can continue to accomplish his mystery of salvation.”
  2. “The Church also participates in the mystery of divine motherhood, through preaching, which sows the seed of the Gospel throughout the world, and through the sacraments, which communicate grace and divine life to men. The Church exercises her motherhood especially in the sacrament of Baptism, when she generates God’s children from water and the Holy Spirit.”
  3. “Like Mary, the Church is the mediator of God’s blessing for the world: she receives it in receiving Jesus and she transmits it in bearing Jesus.”
  4. “The mystery of her divine motherhood that we celebrate today, contains in superabundant measure the gift of grace that all human motherhood bears within it, so much so that the fruitfulness of the womb has always been associated with God’s blessing.”
  5. “The Mother of God is the first of the blessed, and it is she who bears the blessing; she is the woman who received Jesus into herself and brought him forth for the whole human family. In the words of the liturgy: ‘without losing the glory of virginity, [she] brought forth into the world the eternal light, Jesus Christ our Lord’.”

Today give special honor to Mary as Mother of God, and do not forget to go to Mass and pray your Holy Rosaries!

Source: https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/january-1-mary-mother-of-god/





(一) 聖經的啟示

在聖經中,我們很難找到「天主之母」的名稱,但這並非說,這端教義在聖經中沒有啟示的基礎。早在公元五十七年時,聖保祿宗徒曾對迦拉達教會的信友說:「當時期一滿,天主就派遣了自己的兒子,生於女人」(迦 4:4)。在致羅馬人書中,亦有一讚頌詞說:「按血統,基督是生於猶太人,他是在萬有之上,世世代代應受讚美的天主,亞孟!」(羅 9:5) 當聖母領報時,天使對聖母說:「你所生的,要稱為天主的兒子。」 (路 1:35)


(二) 教會的傳承





「這事怎能成就?」「童貞」與「母親」是一個矛盾,從人的理性來看,這件事非常不合邏輯和衝突。天使給聖母帶來了一個理性的難題,可是,聖母卻以一句充滿信德而又很簡單的話 ---「願你的話成就於我吧!」--- 穿越了這個困難,化解了矛盾。自從在領報中接受了第一個「童貞與母親」的矛盾之後,在聖母的生命裡,她不斷地,一次比一次更深地被投入類似的矛盾中。其中最大最難穿越的,恐怕就是「十字架與天主子」的矛盾。試問這位有血有肉,分明是被列於罪犯之中的兒子,又怎可能是天主子?在十字架下,門徒動搖了,伯多祿也跌倒了三次,然而,聖母的信德卻擊破了十字架的矛盾,在完全絕望的境況中,她成為了我們的「聖望之母」。她一生伴隨著耶穌,經歷了貧窮、凌辱、失落等各種遭遇;但聖經卻沒有告訴我們,聖母曾經有何抱怨。從這種「無怨尤」的態度,可見聖母信之深、愛之切。