By Fr. Roy Cimagala

It’s a piece of advice that is worth taking seriously. That New Year’s Day is celebrated liturgically with the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, can mean that it is indeed wise to begin the New Year to live it all throughout with Mary who is not only the Mother of God but also our Mother.

Mary is the best guide we have to be with Jesus, her son and our “way, truth and life.” As one saint would put it, she is the “shortest, surest and safest” way we can avail of to be with Jesus.

Being the mother of Christ, she is the one closest to God, the first link between God and us, since with her ‘Fiat” (Be it done to me) she became the instrument of making God become man in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Thus, she is the best guide for us on how to humanize God and incarnate Christ in our life.

In a sense, we can say that for us to get to God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, we have to go to Mary. She is the bridge we can use to go to Christ. Thus, we have this famous expression, “Ad Iesum per Mariam.” (To Jesus through Mary)

Because she is the mother of Christ who is the pattern of our humanity and the savior of our damaged humanity, we can also consider her as the mother of the entire humanity.

No wonder then that she has been given all the privileges any human person can have from God. She was conceived without original sin, she was sinless all throughout her life, she maintained her virginity, she was assumed into heaven body and soul upon her death.

She kept all these privileges intact without being spoiled by them, somehow correcting the example of our first parents who also were created in a state of original justice but which they lost through their sin.

We really should develop a deep and abiding devotion to Mary. Like St. John who, after being told by the dying Christ to behold his mother (Mary), took her to his home and cared for her, (cfr. Jn 19,27) we too should do the same.

We have to be truly Marian to be truly Christian. That’s part of God’s will for us. We cannot go to Christ, we cannot understand him properly and cooperate with him in our redemption, if we do not go to Mary.

With her, we can conquer our heart to be able to give it to Christ completely. That in the end is what truly matters in our life. Let us rev up our Marian devotion, putting our mind and heart into it. Let’s remember that it is in our heart where our real treasure is kept, and that treasure should be none other than Christ.

The heart is actually the very seat of our thoughts, desires and conscience. It’s that part that contains our whole being, and therefore the most precious part we have. Our whole identity, both in its stable and dynamic states, is found in the heart.

It’s the source of what our mouth would say. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Mt 12,4). It is what gives the motives for our thoughts, desires, words and deeds.

It’s also where we hear the voice of God as well as that of the devil, where we discern the spirit of God and that of the evil one. It’s where we make our decisions, promises and commitments.

Yes, Mary can help us give our heart to Christ the way she gave hers to him. HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!

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