New Year's Day on the Church Calendar

The icon above by Aidan Hart is titled, The Mother of God and Savior. Notice that although Jesus is imaged as as a child, his muscularity and strength are beyond his years. At the same time, Mary is rendered as great, indeed, visually large enough to be the Mother of God. A similar contrast in proportion is at work in Michelangelo's  Pieta where the figure of Mary is so much larger than the Christ she holds in her lap. (Click on the images for larger versions.)

On the civil calendar, January 1 is New Year's Day while on the Church calendar it's observed as the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.  The first day of January is also the World Day of Peace. You can read Pope Francis' message for that observance here.

The scriptures for this day are unusually brief passages. I can't think of any other day when the readings are this brief.  You can preview them here.

How can we say that Mary, a human being, is the Mother of God?  That's a good question - and here's a link to help us understand the Catholic teaching underlying Sunday's solemnity.





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