Mother of God and of the human family
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, gathers us before the Mother of Jesus. It was her that brought the Messiah-Saviour to mankind; it was her that introduces us into his world, filled with God’s love and love of man. We say that Mary is the Mother of Beautiful Love; we call her our Auxiliatrix, Mediatrix, Intercessoress…
It was Pius XI that introduced the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, to the liturgy in the year 1931, to commemorate the 1500th anniversary of the Council of Ephesus, during which Mary’s title ‘Mother of God’ was adopted as a dogma. The whole liturgy of that day – which is the first day of the year – is filled with praises directed to the Mother of God.
But life obeys its own rhythm. We often say that we expected better days, better life, health, greater joy, people’s help, friendship… and it is not so. Despite our best will, biggest efforts and work, heart-stirring thoughts we have not succeeded in many affairs. We say, ‘It did not work out.’ Our attempts and efforts came to nothing. Sometimes it looks like Sisyphean work. Then let us remember the words of the psalmist, ‘Help comes from the Lord who created heaven and earth’ (see Ps 121:1-2). And indeed, when man makes many efforts to secure his days, his family, he must see the One who gives grace. Therefore, one should turn to heavenly heights from where real help comes. Mary, Mother of God, will always come to meet us.
For ages in our Homeland we have learned to turn our eyes towards her; we have learned to ask her in difficult matters, sometimes hopeless matters; we have learned to ask her for inspiration and often for comfort in suffering. Mary has always been open to individuals and families, professional groups, parish communities and schools. That’s why almost every week we can read articles in ‘Niedziela’ about pilgrimages of various groups to Jasna Gora: foresters, hospital workers, teachers, schools, universities, MPs and local governments whose work cannot be overestimated as far as the functioning of our state is concerned. We offer all things that are important to us, our joy and pain, asking for the protection of Mary, Mother of God. We owe so much to Our Lady and Queen of Jasna Gora. Our nation has resorted to her in difficult moments – under the partitions when we were oppressed by alien emperors and during the period of communism when it was our countrymen, people devoid of conscience, that persecuted us. Even then in death cells, when our lives were threatened, we preserved pictures of Our Lady of Czestochowa with the uttermost respect; we made rosaries and little crosses, trusting in Mary’s intercession. It was our strength.
Therefore, the first day of the year should be an experience of special dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It makes us give her everything with our biggest confidence. For she always brings us God’s graces and brings an abundance of graces for the whole world, for the whole human family. And we all should strive for that.
Today together with the universal Church we are praying to the Mother of God for the whole world, for all peoples and nations, countries and continents. We want to cuddle up to Mary’s Heart and pray for every brother of her Son, for every Pole and every Polish family – so that in sincerity and peace we could realise our vocations, which God himself marked for us. Facing Jesus’ Mother we must realise that our priority, the most important task, is concern for a healthy growth of families. If we let families break down it will mean a destruction of mankind. That’s why we should devote social and political efforts, pastoral activities of the Church, of the Polish schools and educational centres to that aim. Since healthy families mean an optimistic future of the world.