New Year Resolutions: Feast of Mary, Mother of God
Mary, Mother of God
Feast of Mary, Mother of God
So here comes New Year! They say New Year, New Life! (Bagong Taon ay magbagong Buhay) When I was in grade school, I could still remember vividly that each time we go back to class after the long Christmas break, our teacher would always ask us to write an essay. And guess what? The essay title would always be: “What is my New Year resolution?” From Grade 4-Grade 6, it was all the same that at some point I thought that maybe, our teachers never expected us to grow up for we’ve been doing the same thing each year till we graduated.
To prove how true that is, I have written down some of my new year’s resolution back then:
- Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day in my pajamas. Instead, I will move our TV into the bedroom (take note we never had LCD TV’s then).
- I will no longer waste my time relieving the past, instead I will spend it worrying about the future.
- I will not bore my teacher by with the same excuse for my absences. I will think of some more excuses aside from unending “headaches or stomachaches”.
- I will do less laundry and use more baby cologne.
- I will avoid taking a bath whenever possible and conserve more water.
- I will give up chocolates totally. 100%. Completely. Honestly.... Seriously???
- I will spend less than one hour a day watching BETAMAX movies (old school). This, of course, will be hard to estimate since I'm not a clock watcher. Etc., etc.
But really, what should our New Year resolutions be? January 1 has been dedicated by the Catholic Church as Solemnity of Mary as the Mother of God since Vatican II authorized it. Though it’s relatively recent (approx. 37 yrs ago), the belief is as old as Christianity itself. Hence, if the Church could give a good name for this day, it would not be New Year’s Day but the Day of Mary, Mother of God. Putting this altogether, I come up with three New Year resolutions that’s worth keeping in mind this year 2014:
1. Be Fit! People keep asking me why I go to the gym. They say, “What, Father, you go to the gym?” “Thin as you are, you go to the gym?” “What do you want to reduce, your bones?” I was like, “Well, people needs exercise, right?” As people grow older, people need to exercise a lot in order to stay FIT! Mary lived her life all to give her Son a good life. Like any Mothers, she gave all what’s best for her child. Mary never resorted to any human weakness by giving up her son even if she was pregnant without a father (until Joseph claimed fatherhood). She kept herself composed, stress free, healthy … FIT!
How do we shape up our lives? How do we respond to daily stress and anxieties? Do they make us unproductive? Of course they do, but in order to get FIT, we have to sit down, relax a bit, and breathe that fresh air. In Church lingo, we have to reflect in order to stay FIT!
2. Be On Time! In one Sunday Mass here at CCOP, I was outside the Church waiting for the Mass to end to greet the people. Right when Holy Communion ended, a lady went out of the Church. Seeing me by surprise, she said, “Oh my, Father caught me!” I saw her in dismay, blushing in guilt! Then I realized that she was actually telling me that the Mass isn’t over yet and that it wasn’t time for her to leave the Church. Well, my dear parishioners, we don’t go to Church like we go to the movies such as that we go out of the Church at the very time we went in especially when we were late. The Mass starts when the presider makes the Sign of the Cross at the beginning and ends in the same way after the final blessing!
For our Blessed Mother, time is of the essence. When she was called by God to be the Mother of God, she knew right then and there that it was time for the promise of salvation to be fulfilled and that she was made instrument to such an honorable plan. She never wasted time, never looked back, and much more never had second thoughts. She gave her “Yes” right at that very moment.
How do we give importance to TIME? Do we make people wait for our own convenience? Do we waste some other people’s precious time when they should have been productive with other things? We live life in TIME, in changing times. Our own transformation and becoming also happen in TIME … then why waste it?
3. Be Beautiful! By beauty, I mean, ontological beauty and by it we associate it with TRUTH, and GOODNESS. People tend to put their lives to waste because they tend to forget that each one is a MASTERPIECE, each one is BEAUTIFUL created in the very IMAGE and LIKENESS of God. When that important truth is forgotten, we misuse and abuse our own selves … our bodies that should have been “Temples of God” - manifestations of God’s very image.
Forget about what TV ads, celebrity stereotypes of beauty and look at your innate beauty. For all we know, the ones we look up as beautiful on television aren’t the ones who truly are beautiful within as we look at their lives (a number of incidences in 2013 are clear proofs to that). Look at the very beauty that Mary exuded as the Mother of our God, as “Theo-tokos,” meaning “God-bearer.” She was beautiful inside and out. The moment she bear the Son of God in grace and beauty was the very moment she made herself the most beautiful of all women.
So, three main resolutions true to our Blessed Mother, the Mother of God. Be Fit by relaxing our bodies to work more productively; Be On Time as time is of the essence, attend Mass from start to end and for God’s sake participate actively; Be Beautiful as you are beautiful right from the moment you were born.
2013 is past, something that we could think about as we move forward; 2014 is present, to have and to hold and to face with utmost hope. The future is yet to come. LIVE not just to fulfill your resolutions, live as God would want you to LIVE.
Happy 2014 everybody!