Welcome to 2022!!! Likely you are exhausted from staying up late to celebrate a new year with your friends and family. This day always brings to mind resolutions, diet programs, calendars, time, and beginnings. Though the secular world sees this as a day for starting anew, the Church sees it as the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. I think all of these themes tie together in a beautiful way through the Second Reading, where we first hear that Jesus became man at the fullness of time.
Have you ever wondered why calendars count time according to roughly the year that Jesus was born? It’s as if even the secular world can’t help but commemorate the importance of that historical event so many years ago. When we read further in Galatians we hear that Jesus is born of a woman. So he comes in the fullness of time and he is born of a woman. There are probably many different ways to interpret that, but the way I see it, the clock of human salvation started ticking the second that Eve took a bite of the apple. The first woman doomed human nature to a life without grace while the “second Eve” said yes to God’s plan for salvation.
All those years in between we wondered and waited at the plan that God had promised throughout the centuries. Time ticked on and many new years came and went, but God’s salvation clock brought us to the simple yes of a woman and the birth of the Savior. He always had the plan, but he waited for the precise moment when, instead of rejecting him, a woman would cooperate with him. Notice that grace, though it is freely given, requires cooperation for it to bear fruit. If we reject grace, God is not going to force us to take it. In the beginning Eve made the choice to fall and in the fullness of time Mary made the choice to say yes to God’s plan for her life.
So I guess the question for today and for the rest of 2022 should be, how are you allowing the grace of God to work in your life? You might have a new diet or exercise plan you are starting or a list of rules you are going to follow this year for your mental health, but what are you going to do in this new year to more fully imitate Mary who gave her yes and accepted the grace that God had to offer? Do you believe, as St. Paul did, that when God became man we became adopted sons and daughters of God? We are not slaves, but sons, and not just sons, but heirs. What are you going to do in this new year to cry out, “Abba, Father!” From all of us here at Diocesan, God bless and Happy New Year!
Tommy Shultz is a Business Development Representative for Diocesan. In this role he is committed to bringing the best software to dioceses and parishes while helping them evangelize on the digital continent. Tommy has worked in various diocese and parish roles since his graduation from Franciscan University with a Theology degree. He hopes to use his skills in evangelization, marketing, and communications, to serve the Church and bring the Good News to all. His favorite quote comes from St. John Paul II, who said, “A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.”
Feature Image Credit: Thomas Bormans, https://unsplash.com/photos/JsTmUnHdVYQ