Wonderful are your works, O Lord!

“For You formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).

We didn’t choose to be born; God chose us. The comforting words we read in Psalm 139 reveal the wonder and power of a loving God. Today’s technology provides DNA testing to disclose our chemical makeup and ancestry. These new discoveries may identify helpful information or unexpected concerns. There is one thing we need to know – God’s love is the true value in our lives!

We celebrated the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God on New Years Day. Honoring the Divine Motherhood of Mary, and her yes in bringing a Savior into the world, is a perfect way to begin anew. In Mary’s fiat we hear the words: “For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).

The title of Mary as the Mother of God comes from the Greek Theotokas “God-bearer,” which dates to the Council of Ephesus in 431. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read, “What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ” (CCC 487).

All beliefs about Mary are prefigured in the Old Testament. The theology and doctrines of Christology and Mariology are revealed in the mysteries of our faith from the Book of Genesis through the New Testament, ending with the Book of Revelations. In Genesis 3:15 we read, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” A foretelling of Mary, the “New Eve,” and Jesus, the “New Adam.” A predestined battle of good and evil overcome by the birth of the Messiah and His death on the Cross.

This Christmas, my son shared a book titled “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary – Unveiling the Mother of the Messiah.” The author, Brant Pitre, makes a great biblical case for the Catholic teachings and devotions to the Blessed Mother by outlining the typology of Mary. Typology is the study of Old Testament prefigurations and their New Testament fulfillments. Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI, once said, “The image of Mary in the New Testament is woven entirely of Old Testament threads.”

Reverence to Mary varies among Christian traditions. The Blessed Mother holds a special place in the hearts of Catholics, especially in the form of prayer for intercession to her Son, Jesus Christ. The life of Mary and her role in salvation history are epitomized in character and virtue of holiness. When Mary is mentioned in scripture she is often called “Woman,” a title of respect. The vocation of motherhood and the role of women can change history. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood.” A powerful statement as we observe society changing God’s plan for marriage and family. With God all things are possible, and our devotion to Mary and the power of the rosary can make a difference in the world.

There are many experiences in life that can only be explained by faith in God. His works are wonderful! The life of Mary, the Mother of God, is a gift laid out for us. In desiring holiness we may discover the wonderful person God created us to be! Grace abounds in our practice of faith and the sacraments! I wrote this article on Jan. 2, the day God chose for my birth; thank you, Lord, for being wonderful to me! Blessed Mother, protect us all! Amen!