Mothers’ Day almost always takes me by surprise. Falling in the first week of May, it seems like I never have any warning to buy the perfect gift or write the perfect card before April suddenly ends and I find myself looking Mothers’ Day in the face.
I can’t say the same about the other Mother’s day, the day we celebrate our Blessed Mother and her relationship with the Son. January 1, or New Year’s Day, is the holy day of obligation that I’m always prepared for.
It seems quite fitting that we have the Solemnity of the Nativity, where we’ve spent nearly a month reflecting on Mary’s pregnancy, her relationship with the loving Father, and her journey with Joseph throughout it all. The culmination occurs at the lowly birth of Christ in a stable, where the Holy Family spent their first days together. A Savior is born, in the cold of the night, to lovingly faithful and holy parents. All is peaceful, joyful, warm, and bright.
Then we have the post-Christmas dead week, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The week where traffic is far sparser, and everyone is desirous of a good rest to recover from the festivities of Christmas. This year’s dead week is a particularly gloomy one in central Indiana, where it is oddly warm, rainy, and very clammy. It’s an odd juxtaposition to the holy feast we just started celebrating a few days ago.
But then we have New Year’s. The great big party to start the year, to prelude an even bigger celebration: the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.
All throughout Advent, we ponder the person of Mary. Her perfection, her sinlessness, her beauty as a pure creation of the Father and her lovely femininity as it fits into the story of Salvation. In all her humbleness, Advent isn’t about her at all. It’s about her Son. We celebrate the arrival of her divine infant. We end the year with great hope as we witness the Salvation of all. We begin the year with an invitation.
An invitation to draw closer to our Lady, as she will only usher you closer to the Son. An invitation to imitate her virtue, her humility, her holiness. An invitation to set all down and simply make Christ the center of our lives, as that is the only way that we will truly be happy in this new year. An invitation to make Mary, the mother of God, our guiding light throughout 2022.
As we start our preparations for the year ahead, as we scramble to come up with a resolution for the months to come, let us turn to Mary and ask her to be our companion in this journey on earth.