Night Prayer on the Solemnity of Mary, The Holy Mother of God 

"And Mary kept these things, reflecting on them in her heart." Lk 2:16-20

The Priscilla catacombs contain the oldest known Marian paintings, from the early third century. Mary is shown with Jesus on her lap.The new year begins with the culmination of Mary's 'yes" to God's will for her on behalf of the human race. She is Theotokos - God's mother. Depicted here from the Priscilla Catacombs, Mary nurses Jesus from her own body after an exhausting labor and birth with Joseph's help in a borrowed hollow, surrounded and hallowed by the poorest of the poor. The unknown future must have overwhelmed them both.

Mary was asked to accept to be the receptacle of God made fully human for the life of the world. Joseph was asked to partner with her and accept his role as spouse and earthly parent.

Talk about mysterious. 

We begin a new year today. May we be as open to the mystery of our own lives as the mother of God who said "Yes" to an unknown future , as open and giving as her spouse, Joseph and as willing to be available when God calls upon us to undergo some unknown task whose outcome we may never know. We can only trust that our own 'yes' will bear fruit because God is with us always. 

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of death. Amen.  

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