And a Happy New Year!

Mary, the Mother of God, is well worth every feast she's given. And yet some stand out. Some are more foundational than others. Why? Because they celebrate the truths about her that make her worth celebrating at all. Her Immaculate Conception, for instance, was necessary before she could even be born. Similarly, unless she had been the Mother of God, we wouldn't have all these feast days and reasons to honor her.

So on Jan. 1 we honor Mary's divine motherhood with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. It's a new year and a new day dawning in salvation history when a creature became the Mother of her Creator. Finitude encompassed infinity. God became man, and humanity became God's parents. God has an ancestry, now, and a family. God has blood relatives, all because of Mary's yes, all because of the Incarnation. God became Man so that men might become gods, as St. Athanasius said. God became Man so that men and women might be adopted as sons and daughters of the living God and become partakers of the divine nature. All this happened through a woman's yes to an angel's offer on behalf of the Almighty. All this, and more.

All of salvation history rolls backwards and forwards from this yes of the Mother of God, for all salvation, all grace, comes through Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ comes to us entirely through Our Lady, through His Mother, just as any other child only comes into this world through their mother. All grace passes through her womb into the world, through her flesh giving Him flesh, through her bone giving Him bone, through her blood giving Him blood to be shed for the life of the world.

She clothes God Almighty in human nature, and walks with Him all the days of his life - Mother; Disciple - till the day when he is stripped naked and hung on the cross. Naked beyond nakedness, for the Son surrenders even that flesh, and blood, and bone, and walks triumphant beneath the dark sun of Hell to save those whose Child He has become, to free the great saints and saved of the ages before His coming from their limbo of death. And then on the third day, the New Adam takes up again the garment of humanity given Him by the New Eve, by Mary His Mother, and glorifies it, transfigures it, and wears it forever - His wedding garment, given Him by eternal Father and human mother, His bridegroom's suit for the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Without Mary, the Mother of God, we have no bread from heaven, no wine of eternal salvation. Without Mary, the Mother of God, there is no humanity joined to the divinity of the Son. Without Mary, the Mother of God, there is no Jesus.

Celebrate her who said yes to the coming of the Lamb to be slain for the sins of the world. Celebrate her to whom Jesus was obedient (see Lk 2:51-52). Celebrate the woman who bore our salvation into the world, through whom all grace comes in the Person of Jesus Christ.

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