Today, January 1, is a special day for all those interested in the Theology of the Body. Today we celebrate the ancient solemnity of “Mary, Mother of God.” It is true that today is an opportunity to honor my mother Mary, but it is also an opportunity to pause in the midst of my crazy daily existence to reflect on the dignity accorded my own humanity, for it was in the womb of a woman that God became man. “Mary, Mother of God,” is more than a distant title reflecting on the merits of another. It says something as well about my own humanity. My own humanity is not evil, something to be lashed at with a leather whip, but is an awesome gift which I so often take for granted.
“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4) The psalmist spoke these words in his wonder that God would look upon him with interest of any sort. Our God, however, is not the distant god of many modern philosophers who is said to have wound up the world as a watch and then distanced himself from it. Our God is a God who takes interest in humanity. “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without the knowledge of your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 10:29) Man is loved by God, and without qualification. God did not make me wishing that I could be something better than a human. He made me a human because he saw that it was good and beautiful to be one.
Mary, under her title of “Mother of God,” reminds us of this fact today. God chose to become a man, not because he had no other choice, but because he loved mankind. It is impossible for God to love what is evil, and my humanity, as integral part of who I am, must therefore be fundamentally good. Life is beautiful, if we can but see it. The evil one want us to believe otherwise, and spreads what is ugly and deformed throughout the world. He desires that we fear God and hate ourselves, for if we do, we will fail to appreciate what is good, wound up as we are with an obsession for hating what is bad. Let us take advantage of today to lift our eyes up to God in heaven, but also to lift our eyes up to his reflection in the world. You and I are made in the image of God. This is not just a pious statement. This is the fundamental fact of our existence.