SOLEMNITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD – January 1, 2023

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: May God bless us in his mercy.

TODAY’S MASS INTENTION: Barnabás Lacza, by the Family

MASS SCHEDULE & INTENTIONS FOR THE COMING WEEK:

January 2 Monday 9:00 AM István & Katalin Palotay, by the Family
January 3 Tuesday 9:00 AM Parishioners of St. Emeric and St. Elizabeth parishes
January 4 Wednesday 9:00 AM Celebrant’s Intention
January 5 Thursday 9:00 AM Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
January 6 Friday 9:00 AM Attila Szigethy, by Erika Farkas
January 7 Saturday 5:00 PM Magdolna Szőcs, by the Family
January 8 Sunday 11:15 AM Attila Balogh, Éva Molnár

FROM THE DESK OF FR. BONA: Today is the eight (final) day of the Christmas Octave. Octaves are eight-day extensions of a major feast. Every day of the octave repeats the solemnness of Christmas. Since Christmas is such a great solemnity, why reserve its celebration only to one day? The Christmas octave concludes on a high note with another solemnity (Mary, Mother of God) that echoes the solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. In the current liturgical calendar, only Christmas and Easter have an octave.

Thus, today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, our Lady’s greatest title. It is a reminder of the role she played in the salvation of mankind. The reality of Mary’s divine maternity was proclaimed a dogma of the faith by the Council of Ephesus in 431, and this teaching contains two important affirmations: 1) Mary is truly a mother. Since Jesus had no human father, Mary contributed all genetic material to the formation of His human nature. 2) Mary conceived and bore the Second Person of the Trinity. Some Protestant Christians hold that Mary was the mother of Jesus’ human nature only. But a mother does not give birth to a nature; she gives birth to a person. Since Jesus is a divine Person, it is logical that Mary be called the “Mother of God” (in Greek, Theotokos), even if this mystery has aspects that exceed our human understanding.

Actually, the Greek word better expresses the notion behind the title of Mother of God. The word literally means “God bearer,” not “God generator.” To “generate” God would imply that one is His origin, but this cannot be true because God exists from all eternity. To “bear” God means to hold him in one’s womb. Historic Christianity (i.e., the Catholic and Orthodox churches) believe that Mary actually bore God (in the person of Jesus Christ) in her womb. Jesus didn’t “become God” when He left her womb.

Why is this important? To deny Mary’s divine maternity is to cast doubt on the reality of Jesus’ divinity. Mary’s divine maternity is, then, essentially a “Christological” dogma in that it affirms the divine Personhood of Jesus.

The honoring of Mary as the Mother of God can be traced back to the Council of Ephesus in 431. By the 7th century, January 1st was observed as a celebration of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the 13th century, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ had come to replace the feast honoring Mary. However, in 1751, Pope Benedict XIV allowed Portugal’s churches to devote a feast to Mary on the first Sunday in May. This was because of a push in Portugal for an official feast day celebrating Mary’s divine maternity. Eventually, the feast was expanded to include other countries. In 1914, the feast started to be observed on October 11. In 1931, Pope Pius XI extended the feast to the entire church. In 1974, Pope Paul VI removed the feast of the Circumcision of Christ from the liturgical calendar. He replaced it with the feast of the “Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God”, bringing Mary’s feast day back to the first day of the calendar year.

PLEASE, PICK UP YOUR 2023 YEAR DONATION ENVELOPES IN THE SUNDAY OFFICE. Thank you for your generosity in supporting the parish throughout the year. If there are any address changes, please notify us.

LAST WEEKEND’S COLLECTION: (12/25) – Sunday Collection: $4,596; Maintenance: $175; in loving memory of Attila Szigethy: $500; in loving memory of László & Elizabeth Szabolcs: $50. May God reward your generosity in supporting the parish. Thank you for sending in your donations by mail or using our website https://stemeric.com/donations/.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SICK, especially for Bev Kimar, Rose Dudevszky, Teréz Kalász, Lajos Boday, Julius Skerlan, Márta Takács, Zsuzsanna Hunyadi, Albert Kovács and Viola Kocskár.

PLEASE PRAY FOR THE DECEASED, especially for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who died on December 31, 2022 at the age of 95. He was the 265th successor of St. Peter and reigned from April 18, 2005 ­– February 28, 2013. Benedict XVI, was a leading theologian of the 20th century and the first pope to resign from office in nearly 600 years. Bp. Malesic has asked the parishes to pray for him and offer a Mass. We will have a memorial Mass for Benedict XVI on Thursday at 9AM (the day of his funeral in Rome).

THIS SUNDAY the 11:15 AM Mass from St. Emeric church will be livestreamed at https://www.facebook.com/saintemeric/ and https://stemeric.com/

This post is also available in: Hungarian

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